Ex-Vatican Ambassador Accuses Pope Francis of Reinstating Abusive Bishop

VATICAN POPE
Pope Francis leaves after his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Pope Francis lamented Wednesday how Irish church authorities failed to respond to the crimes of sexual abuse, speaking during his first public appearance at the Vatican after bombshell accusations that he himself covered up for an American cardinal's misdeeds. Andrew Medichini / AP Photo
VATICAN POPE
Pope Francis leaves after his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Pope Francis lamented Wednesday how Irish church authorities failed to respond to the crimes of sexual abuse, speaking during his first public appearance at the Vatican after bombshell accusations that he himself covered up for an American cardinal's misdeeds. Andrew Medichini / AP Photo

Ex-Vatican Ambassador Accuses Pope Francis of Reinstating Abusive Bishop

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, issued an 11-page statement condemning Pope Francis’ handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. The Nuncio, who acted as the Vatican city-state’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2011 to 2016, timed his letter to coincide with Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to Ireland last weekend, where he discussed Catholic family life in the rapidly secularizing country. In particular, Viganò accused Pope Francis of lifting church sanctions against the former Archbishop of Washington and Newark, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, despite allegations that he sexually abused seminarians under his tutelage. Pope Francis didn’t directly respond to Viganò’s accusations, encouraging journalists to do their due diligence in verifying his claims. Catholic media outlets have already found inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies in Viganò’s letter. Viganò is part of a conservative circle of Catholic bishops that have long been critical of Pope Francis’ supposedly liberal shifts in catechism. The letter called for Pope Francis’ resignation. Joining us to discuss is John Thavis, author of The Vatican Diaries. He has covered the Vatican for more than 30 years, many as Rome bureau chief for the Catholic News Service.