The Washington Post
After calling on
the pope to resign and holing up in an undisclosed location, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò gave his first extended interview and said Francis is “blatantly lying to the whole world.”
In his first extended interview since he called on Pope Francis to resign, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò corresponded by email with The Washington Post over two months, writing 8,000 words in response to nearly 40 questions. Excerpts:
Viganò: I repeat in front of God what I stated in my testimony from last August: On June 23rd, 2013 Pope Francis himself asked me about [then-Cardinal Theodore] McCarrick, and I told him that there was a huge dossier about his abuses at the Congregation of Bishops, and that he corrupted generations of seminarians. How could anybody, especially a pope, forget this? If he really knew nothing until that day, how could he ignore my warning, and continue to rely on McCarrick as one of his closest advisers?
We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds! But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups.
Some portray you as motivated by bitterness over your own career.
I can only ask impartial persons to examine the decisions that marked my career to see if they smack of ambitious careerism and lust for promotion. By the same token, impartial persons might ask who most profits from dismissal of the Viganò testimony on the grounds of unseemly motivation?
I am an old man and will be appearing in front of the Good Judge before too long. My silence would make me complicit with the abusers and lead to yet more victims.
Can you explain your notion that homosexuality is core to the abuse problem?
Let’s keep two arenas distinct: (1) crimes of sexual abuse and (2) criminal coverup . . .
As to the first, heterosexual men obviously do not choose boys and young men as sexual partners of preference, and approximately 80 percent of the victims are males, the vast majority of which are post-pubescent males . . . .
Given the overwhelming evidence, it is mind-boggling that the word “homosexuality” has not appeared once, in any of the recent official documents of the Holy See . . . .
As to the second arena, the “gay mafia” among bishops is bound together not by shared sexual intimacy but by a shared interest in protecting and advancing one another professionally and sabotaging all efforts at reform. What would an investigation into who knew what about McCarrick reveal?
I know for a fact that the results of an honest investigation would be disastrous for the current papacy, and those responsible for initiating the work know this as well. I can only conclude that the assurance of an appropriate archival investigation was an empty promise . . . .
I sincerely wish that all documents, if they have not already been destroyed, would be released. It is entirely possible that this would harm the reputation of Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II, but that is not a good reason for not seeking the truth. Benedict XVI and John Paul II are human beings, and may well have made mistakes. If they did, we want to know about them. Why should they remain hidden? We can all learn from our mistakes.
I myself regret not having spoken publicly earlier.
If you could redo events, would you still ask for the pope’s resignation?
I can see, in retrospect, how certain points might have been better stated . . . .
I would have pointed out that Saint Peter himself denied Christ three times, but then wept bitterly and repented . . . . May Pope Francis imitate St. Peter! But if Pope Francis refuses to admit his mistakes and ask for forgiveness, so he can carry out the mandate he received from Christ, he should resign.