Card. Ouellet’s Letter to Archbp. Viganò about the #ViganoTestimony

The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops wrote an Open Letter to Archbp. Viganò, once the Nuncio to these USA.  As you know, Archbp. Viganò released a “Testimony“.   Then he went into hiding, for good reason.

In the sequel to the Testimony, Archbp. Viganò addressed himself directly to Card. Ouellet.  Here is that excerpt:

I would like to make a special appeal to Cardinal Ouellet, because as nuncio I always worked in great harmony with him, and I have always had great esteem and affection towards him. He will remember when, at the end of my mission in Washington, he received me at his apartment in Rome in the evening for a long conversation. At the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate, he had maintained his dignity, as he had shown with courage when he was Archbishop of Québec. Later, however, when his work as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops was being undermined because recommendations for episcopal appointments were being passed directly to Pope Francis by two homosexual “friends” of his dicastery, bypassing the Cardinal, he gave up. His long article in L’Osservatore Romano, in which he came out in favor of the more controversial aspects of Amoris Laetitia, represents his surrender. Your Eminence, before I left for Washington, you were the one who told me of Pope Benedict’s sanctions on McCarrick. You have at your complete disposal key documents incriminating McCarrick and many in the curia for their cover-ups. Your Eminence, I urge you to bear witness to the truth.

Ouellet has now responded to Viganò

Here is Ed Pentin’s translation of Card. Ouellet’s Letter to Viganò.  My emphases.  Emphases in the original.  My comments[UPDATE: Pentin replaced his translation with an, as yet, unofficial Vatican translation – here they are side by side.

 

Pentin Translation (Vatican working translation)
Dear Brother Carlo Maria Viganò,

In your last message to the media, in which you denounce Pope Francis and the Roman Curia, you urge me to tell the truth about facts that you interpret as an endemic corruption that has invaded the hierarchy of the Church to its highest level. With due pontifical permission, I offer here my personal testimony, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, on the events concerning the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington Theodore McCarrick and his alleged links with Pope Francis, which are the object of your vehement public denunciation as well as of your demand that the Holy Father resign. I write this testimony of mine on the basis of my personal contacts and the documents in the archives of the above mentioned Congregation, which are currently the object of a study to shed light on this sad case.

 

Dear brother Carlo Maria Viganò,

In your last message to the press, in which you make accusations against Pope Francis and against the Roman Curia, you invite me to tell the truth about certain facts that you interpret as signs of an endemic corruption that has infiltrated the hierarchy of the Church up to its highest levels. With pontifical permission, and in my capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I offer my testimony about matters concerning the Archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, and his presumed links to Pope Francis, matters that are at the center of your public accusations and your demand that the Holy Father resign. I write my testimony based on my personal contacts and on documents in the archives of the Congregation, currently the object of study to clarify this sad case.

 

Allow me to tell you first of all, in all sincerity, by virtue of the good relationship of collaboration that existed between us when you were nuncio to Washington, that your current position seems to me incomprehensible and extremely reprehensible, not only because of the confusion that it sows among the people of God, but because your public accusations seriously damage the reputation of the Successors of the Apostles. I remember a time when I enjoyed your esteem and confidence, but I observe that I have lost in your eyes the dignity you placed in me, for the mere fact of having remained faithful to the directions of the Holy Father in the service that he entrusted to me in the Church. Is not communion with the Successor of Peter the expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and supports him with His grace? My interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which you complain about, is inscribed in this fidelity to the living tradition, of which Francis has given us an example with the recent modification of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the question of the death penalty. Out of consideration for the good, collaborative relation we had when you were Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, allow me to say, in all honesty, that I find your current attitude incomprehensible and extremely troubling, not only because of the confusion it sows among the People of God, but because your public accusations gravely harm the reputation of the bishops, successors of the Apostles. I recall a time when I enjoyed your esteem and your trust, but now I see that I have been stripped in your eyes of the respect that was accorded to me, for the only reason I have remained faithful to the Holy Father’s guidance in exercising the service he has entrusted to me in the Church. Is not communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and sustains him with his grace? My interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which you criticize, is grounded in this fidelity to the living tradition, which Francis has given us another example of by recently modifying the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the question of the death penalty.
Let’s get to the facts. You say you informed Pope Francis on 23 June 2013 about the McCarrick case in the audience he granted to you, as well as to many other pontifical representatives he then met for the first time on that day. I imagine the enormous amount of verbal and written information he had to gather on that occasion about many people and situations. I strongly doubt that McCarrick interested him to the extent that you believe, since he was an archbishop emeritus of 82 years and seven years without a post. In addition, the written instructions prepared for you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your service in 2011 did not say anything about McCarrick, except what I told you about his situation as an emeritus bishop who had to obey certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors about his behavior in the past. Let us address the facts. You said that on June 23, 2013, you provided Pope Francis with information about McCarrick in an audience he granted to you, as he also did for many pontifical representatives with whom he met for the first time that day. I can only imagine the amount of verbal and written information that was provided to the Holy Father on that occasion about so many persons and situations. I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick, as you would like us to believe, given the fact that by then he was an 82-year-old Archbishop emeritus who had been without a role for seven years. Moreover, the written instructions given to you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your mission in 2001 did not say anything about McCarrick, except for what I mentioned to you verbally about his situation as Bishop emeritus and certain conditions and restrictions that he had to follow on account of some rumors about his past conduct.
Since June 30, 2010, when I became prefect of this Congregation, I have never taken the McCarrick case to an audience with Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Francis, except in the last few days, after his fall from the College of Cardinals. The former cardinal, who retired in May 2006, was strongly urged not to travel, nor to appear in public, in order not to provoke further rumours about him. It is false to present the measures taken against him as “sanctions” decreed by Pope Benedict XVI and annulled by Pope Francis. After reviewing the archives, I note that there are no documents in this regard signed by either Pope, nor a note of an audience of my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, which would have given a mandate to the archbishop emeritus McCarrick to live a private life of silence, with the rigor of canonical penalties. The reason for this is that, unlike today, there was not enough evidence of his alleged guilt at the time. Hence the position of the Congregation inspired by prudence and the letters of my predecessor and mine reiterated, through the Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi and then also through you, the exhortation to live a discreet life of prayer and penance for his own good and for that of the Church. His case would have been the subject of new disciplinary measures if the nunciature in Washington, or any other source, had provided us with recent and decisive information about his behavior. I hope, like so many others, that out of respect for the victims and the need for justice, the investigation under way in the United States and the Roman Curia will finally give us a critical, overall view of the procedures and circumstances of this painful case, so that such events do not recur in the future. From 30th June 2010, when I became Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I never presented in audience the McCarrick case to Pope Benedict XVI or to Pope Francis – not until recently, after his dismissal from the College of Cardinals. The former Cardinal, retired in May of 2006, had been requested not to travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about him. It is false, therefore, to present those measures as “sanctions” formally imposed by Pope Benedict XVI and then invalidated by Pope Francis. After a review of the archives, I find that there are no documents signed by either Pope in this regard, and there are no audience notes from my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, imposing on the retired Archbishop the obligation to lead a quiet and private life with the weight normally reserved to canonical penalties. The reason is that back then, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged culpability. Thus, the Congregation’s decision was inspired by prudence, and the letters from my predecessor and my own letters urged him, first through the Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi and then through you, to lead a life of prayer and penance, for his own good and for the good of the Church. His case would have deserved new disciplinary measures if the Nunciature in Washington, or any other source, had provided us recent and definitive information about his behavior. I am of the opinion that, out of respect for the victims and given the need for justice, the inquiry currently underway in the United States and in the Roman Curia should provide a comprehensive and critical study of the procedures and the circumstances of this painful case in order to prevent something like it from ever happening in the future.
How can it be that this man of the Church, whose inconsistency is known today, has been promoted on several occasions, to the point of holding the highest positions of Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal? I myself am very surprised by this and recognize the shortcomings in the selection process that has been carried out in his case. But without going into detail here, it must be understood that the decisions taken by the Supreme Pontiff are based on the information available at that precise moment and that they constitute the object of a prudential judgment that is not infallible. It seems unfair to me to conclude that the persons in charge of prior discernment are corrupt even though, in the concrete case, some clues provided by the testimonies should have been further examined. The prelate in question knew how to defend himself with great skill from the doubts raised in his regard. On the other hand, the fact that there may be people in the Vatican who practice and support behavior contrary to the values of the Gospel in matters of sexuality does not authorize us to generalize and to declare this or that, and even the Holy Father himself, unworthy and complicit. Should the ministers of truth not, first of all, guard themselves against slander and defamation? How is it possible that this man of the Church, whose incoherence has now been revealed, was promoted many times, and was nominated to such a high position as Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal? I am personally very surprised, and I recognize that there were failures in the selection procedures implemented in his case. However, and without entering here into details, it must be understood that the decisions taken by the Supreme Pontiff are based on the information available to him at the time and that they are the object of a prudential judgment which is not infallible. I think it is unjust to reach the conclusion that there is corruption on the part of the persons entrusted with this previous discernment process, even though in the particular case some of the concerns that were raised by testimonies should have been examined more closely. The Archbishop also knew how to cleverly defend himself from those concerns raised about him. Furthermore, the fact that there could be in the Vatican persons who practice or support sexual behavior that is contrary to the values of the Gospel, does not authorize us to make generalizations or to declare unworthy and complicit this or that individual, including the Holy Father himself. Should not ministers of the truth avoid above all calumny and defamation?
Dear pontifical representative emeritus, I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered up with full knowledge of the facts this alleged sexual predator and therefore of being an accomplice of the corruption that is spreading in the Church, to the point of considering him unworthy of continuing his reform as the first pastor of the Church, is incredible and unlikely from all points of view. I can’t understand how you could let yourself be convinced this monstrous accusation could stand. Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick’s promotions in New York, Metuchen, Newark and Washington. He removed him from his dignity as a Cardinal when a credible accusation of child abuse became apparent. I have never heard Pope Francis allude to this self-styled great adviser of his pontificate in relation to [episcopal] nominations in America, even though he does not hide the trust he gives some prelates. I sense these are not your preferences, nor those of your friends who support your interpretation of the facts. However, I find it aberrant that you take advantage of the sensational scandal of sexual abuse in the United States to inflict on the moral authority of your Superior, the Supreme Pontiff, an unprecedented and undeserved blow. Dear pontifical representative emeritus, I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered-up knowingly the case of an alleged sexual predator and, therefore, of being an accomplice to the corruption that afflicts the Church, to the point that he could no longer continue to carry out his reform as the first shepherd of the Church, appears to me from all viewpoints unbelievable and without any foundation. I cannot understand how could you have allowed yourself to be convinced of this monstrous and unsubstantiated accusation. Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick’s promotions to New York, Metuchen, Newark and Washington. He stripped him of his Cardinal’s dignity as soon as there was a credible accusation of abuse of a minor. For a Pope who does not hide the trust that he places in certain prelates, I never heard him refer to this so called great advisor for the pontificate for episcopal appointments in the United States. I can only surmise that some of those prelates are not of your preference or the preference of your friends who support your interpretation of matters. I think it is abhorrent, however, for you to use the clamorous sexual abuse scandal in the United States to inflict an unmerited and unheard of a blow to the moral authority of your superior, the Supreme Pontiff.
I have the privilege of meeting Pope Francis for a long time each week, to discuss the appointments of bishops and the problems that affect their government. I know very well how he treats people and problems: with much charity, mercy, attention and seriousness, as you yourself have experienced. Reading how you end your last, seemingly very spiritual message, making light of yourself and casting doubt on his faith, seemed to me really too sarcastic, even blasphemous! This cannot come from the Spirit of God. [Blasphemy?  I suggest that blasphemy is really about detraction against God, not against any human being, no matter what his role.] I have the privilege of having long meetings with Pope Francis every week to discuss the appointment of bishops and the problems that affect their governance. I know very well how he treats persons and problems: with great charity, mercy, attentiveness and seriousness, as you too have experienced. I think it is too sarcastic, even blasphemous, how you end your last message, purportedly appealing to spirituality while mocking the Holy Father and casting doubt about his faith. That cannot come from the Spirit of God.
Dear Brother, I would really like to help you rediscover communion with him who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church; [Is the Prefect of Bishops forecasting a future censure?] I understand how bitterness and disappointment have marked your path in service to the Holy See, but you cannot end your priestly life in this way, in an open and scandalous rebellion, which inflicts a very painful wound on the Bride of Christ, whom you claim to serve better, worsening division and bewilderment in the people of God! What can I answer your question if I don’t tell you: come out of your hiding place, repent of your revolt and return to better feelings towards the Holy Father, instead of exacerbating hostility against him. How can you celebrate the Holy Eucharist and pronounce his name in the canon of Mass? How can you pray the holy Rosary, Saint Michael the Archangel and the Mother of God, condemning the one she protects and accompanies every day in his weighty and courageous ministry?  [With due respect to the Cardinal, this is a little over the top, especially in a time when everyone is supposed to respect everyone else’s conscience.] Dear brother, how much I wish that I could help you return to communion with him who is the visible guarantor of communion in the Catholic Church. I understand that deceptions and sufferings have marked your path in the service to the Holy See, but you should not finish your priestly life involved in an open and scandalous rebellion that inflicts a very painful wound to the Bride of Christ, whom you pretend to serve better, while causing further division and confusion among the People of God. How could I answer your call except by saying: stop living clandestinely, repent of your rebelliousness, and come back to better feelings towards the Holy Father, instead of fostering hostility against him. How can you celebrate Mass and mention his name in the Eucharistic Prayer? How can you pray the Holy Rosary, or pray to Saint Michael the Archangel, or to the Mother of God, while condemning the one Our Lady protects and accompanies every day in his burdensome and courageous mission?
If the Pope were not a man of prayer, if he were attached to money, if he favored the rich to the detriment of the poor, if he did not show an untiring energy to welcome all the poor and give them the generous comfort of his word and his gestures, if he did not multiply all the possible means to proclaim and communicate the joy of the Gospel to everyone and to all in the Church and beyond her visible borders, if he did not reach out to families, to abandoned old people, to the sick in soul and body and especially to the young people in search of happiness, perhaps someone else could be preferred, according to you, with different diplomatic or political attitudes. But I, who have known him well, I cannot question his personal integrity, his consecration to the mission and especially the charism and peace that dwell in him by the grace of God and the power of the Risen One. If the Pope was not a man of prayer; if he was attached to money; if he favored riches to the detriment of the poor; if he did not demonstrate a tireless energy to welcome all miseries and to address them through the generous comfort of his words and actions; if he did not seek to implement all possible means to announce and to communicate the joy of the Gospel to all in the Church and beyond her visible horizons; if he did not lend a hand to the families, to the abandoned elderly, to the sick in body and soul and, above all, to the youth in their search for happiness; one could prefer someone else, according to you, with a different political or diplomatic approach. But I cannot call into question his personal integrity, his consecration to the mission and, above all, the charisma and peace he enjoys through the grace of God and the strength of the Risen One.
In response to your unjust and unjustified attack, dear Viganò, I conclude therefore that the accusation is a political set-up without a real foundation that can incriminate the Pope, and I reiterate that it deeply hurts the communion of the Church. May it please God that this injustice be quickly remedied and that Pope Francis continue to be recognized for what he is: an outstanding pastor, a compassionate and firm father, a prophetic charism for the Church and for the world. May he continue with joy and full confidence his missionary reform, comforted by the prayer of God’s people and by the renewed solidarity of the whole Church with Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary. Dear Viganò, in response to your unjust and unjustified attack, I can only conclude that the accusation is a political plot that lacks any real basis that could incriminate the Pope and that profoundly harms the communion of the Church. May God allow a prompt reparation of this flagrant injustice so that Pope Francis can continue to be recognized for who he is: a true shepherd, a resolute and compassionate father, a prophetic grace for the Church and for the world. May the Holy Father carry on, full of confidence and joy, the missionary reform he has begun, comforted by the prayers of the people of God and the renewed solidarity of the whole Church, together with Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary!
Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,

Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, October 7, 2018.”

 

Marc Cardinal Ouellet

Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,

Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, October 7th 2018.”

 

So, that’s a “no” vote from the Cardinal Prefect.

UPDATE:

Ed Pentin made an observation:

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57 Responses to Card. Ouellet’s Letter to Archbp. Viganò about the #ViganoTestimony

  1. un-ionized says:

    This is all too familiar to me, having received two such letters from my so-called pastor. The accusation that he’s doing this because of bitterness and disappointment is typical gaslighting. In my case they said I didn’t have any friends and should leave the parish or risk being “banned” because of certain unspecified remarks that I supposedly had made.

    I’m going to stop reading about all this now, I’m down with back spasms from being so upset.

    The laity needs to wake up and look at their own parishes. Abusive bishops started as abusive priests and seminarians.

  2. barryaltarserver1985 says:

    Bitterly disappointed by Cardinal Ouellet’s diatribe towards Archbishop Vigano – because that is what it seems to be – I used to think he himself was a man of integrity and highly respected him. That respect, for now, has gone. Pray for the Church.

  3. FrAnt says:

    I have a feeling that we will hear a response from Viganò. I also think that sending this letter today, the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, is not going to produce the effect Cardinal Ouellet was hoping to achieve. Why am I believing Viganò? Because of the oath before God he made in his letter. Ouellet makes no such oath to the veracity of his words, instead he seems to be towing the company line. Finally, throwing in that Pope Francis was chosen by Jesus to lead the Church is far reaching. We have a Pope, not an Emperor.

  4. Dismas says:

    Can anyone be surprised? For whatever virtues he has displayed, the former primate of Canada didn’t have the guts to torch the Winnipeg Statement, why should he abandon comfort now?

  5. Johann says:

    Oullet’s diatribe against Vigano reminds me of the astonishing tirade by Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga who said it was a “crime against the holy spirit” to call on the Pope to resign.

    The deification of Francis by his supporters is perhaps an attempt by them to substitute him in the place of God due to the loss of their faith.

    We owe respect to the office of the Papacy but the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, not God himself, and any suggestion that it is “blasphemous” or a “sin against the Holy Spirit” to criticize him cannot be construed as anything other than blasphemous and idolatrous in itself.

  6. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    Am I the only one that reads this as something that was put together by a committee? It doesn’t have the “feel” of a single author.

  7. HvonBlumenthal says:

    I don’t understand the accusation of blasphemy against Abp Vigano. However, it is indeed verging on blasphemy to suggest, as the cardinal does, that to critise the Pope is a crime so awful that the perpetrator should be unworthy to pray to God, the Virgin, or St Michael.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Cdl. Ouellet appears to be promoting a personality cult of Pope Francis, while also whining that criticism of Pope Francis is a “political setup.”

    No thanks. Abp. Vigano, Henry Sire, and others are on to something.

    barryaltarserver1985: I agree, my respect of 2013 for this particular Cardinal and Pope is gone. Perhaps one day it will return. Courtesy and prayers will remain.

    Fr. Ant: Yes, “…the company line.”

  9. maryh says:

    Well, if you ignore all the opinion and exhortations, Cardinal Ouellet has confirmed Viganò’s testimony.

    McCarrick was under direction from Pope Benedict not to travel and to stay out of the public eye because to avoid further rumors about him caused by his behavior in the past. We already know that these were not canonical sanctions. Ouellet’s written testimony confirms that there were indeed “noncanonical sanctions” or directions or whatever against McCarrick, and that it was because of rumors caused by McCarrick’s *behavior* in the past.

    Frankly, that is a very useful corroboration of Vigano, since the “unofficial” nature of the sanctions means there can be no “official”, signed documents about them.

    Next, Ouellet confirms that Vigano could very well have told Pope Francis about McCarrick. It is only Ouellet’s opinion that the Pope probably didn’t remember it because of all the information he was receiving, and because McCarrick was not important enough.

    Next, he admits that there WAS evidence against McCarrick, because he says Vigano should have provided more recent and decisive evidence. Apparently, the old, less decisive evidence was enough for Pope Emeritous Benedict to put him under “unofficial sanctions”, but not enough for Pope Francis to maintain them. This begs the question of what it means to say there was not sufficient evidence of McCarrick’s guilt before this year.

    I wonder whether the purpose of the diatribe is to confirm Viganò’s testimony without attracting the retribution of Pope Francis.

  10. Fr_Andrew says:

    I’m with Fr Ferguson. It sounds like something written by someone in a PR department and then signed by the boss, not that Cardinal Oullet does not thereby make it his words. He does.

    I think it was a serious mistake for Msgr Viganò to have tried to rally support by naming people like Oullet and calling them to action. It does force them to pick a side, but it also give them the opportunity to run not only a smear campaign, but also run a cover-up operation and try to explain away the problems. It made this reply inevitable, and the party-line was the inevitable reply as well, given that few have rallied to Viganò’s side from the inner-circle. If Oullet didn’t speak up before, why would we expect him to turn on the Pope now.

    Hopefully Viganò has some hard and fast proof, like documents and meetings which contradict what was written here, else this is exactly what the media needs to continue to pummel Viganò and his supporters.

    Much as I still believe him, I think he may have made a terrible mistake.

  11. Unwilling says:

    On his own, Cardinal Ouellet would not write such an unfair and nasty attack [Cardinal Viganò accused but did not attack anyone]. This letter is so plainly the product of a [Let’s try “vicious”!] PR department groupthink session, toadying up to some brainless but blood-thirsty executive, it is unsurprising that the authors did not foresee how much more deeply its cynicism would drive suspicion and how completely its dishonesty would rob the current “administration” of goodwill credibility. Heartbreakingly sad.

    Do not lose heart, dear Cardinal Viganò! [Archbishop, not Cardinal.]

  12. Lurker 59 says:

    There appears to be much unfounded that is asserted in Card. Ouellet’s letter and much obfuscation. Where does one start?

    How about this slight of hand: “[Pope France] removed [Card. McCarrick] from his dignity as a Cardinal when a credible accusation of child abuse became apparent.” Mr. McCarrick is and was a known active homosexual predator/abuser of men, not simply into child abuse. It is the homosexual activity that was covered over by Pope Francis and Mr. McCarrick was removed from being a Card (not removed from the episcopate) only when the pressure became too great and it became about child abuse, rather than the real reason why McCarrick is a monster and in need of the Gospel and being called to repentance.

    Since Card. Ouellet opened the can of worms of politics in accusing Card. Vigano [Archbishop, not Cardinal] of such, let me be a bit long-winded and hopefully not harsh. From the beginning, Pope Francis has exercised his rule in a highly charged political manner while couching these maneuvers in terms of being “pastoral”. Take anything, from dealing with China, to Mass on the border between the US and Mexico, to trying to tip the scales in elections in South America, berating sovereign European nations about refugees, dealing with priests in Nigeria, the issues with the Order of Malta, the posturing of the Pontiff’s various encyclicals, and even in a very real sense the way the “poor” are elevated and used as tools for scoring political points, one finds a very dominant and real focus on political ends and goods in this Pontificate.

    The above is not to say that religious figures shouldn’t be political but to point out that the Pope himself is extremely political and that to charge Card Vigano as being politically motivated is just hypocritical. Pope Francis himself has bred a politically charged atmosphere in the Church. Card’s Vigano’s charge, in a nutshell, according to my understanding, is that keeping McCarrick around furthered the ends of Pope Francis’ political agenda to the detriment of the Gospel.

  13. arga says:

    Though I am sympathetic to Viganò, I must say that Ouellet makes a good point that has bothered me too: “. . . imagine the enormous amount of verbal and written information he [Francis] had to gather on that occasion about many people and situations. I strongly doubt that McCarrick interested him to the extent that you believe, . . ” In other words, as I too understood Viganò, the core of his accusation against the pope was this exchange between the two men in a receiving line! That seems to be an awfully slender thread on which to hang such a strong accusation. In such a context, one would have to taken into account multiple distractions, fatigue, possible misunderstandings. Please do correct me if I am leaving something out.

  14. MGL says:

    Cardinal Oullett writes:

    You say you informed Pope Francis on 23 June 2013 about the McCarrick case in the audience he granted to you, as well as to many other pontifical representatives he then met for the first time on that day. I imagine the enormous amount of verbal and written information he had to gather on that occasion about many people and situations.

    Which seems reasonable at first glance. But Vigano claims that the Holy Father specifically asked him about McCarrick, not that he raised it out of the blue while the new pope was overwhelmed with information. If the pope raised the question, it’s reasonable to believe he retained the answer in his memory.

  15. ChrisP says:

    LOL. Nice try Ouellet. This is a diatribe from Baggio, recycled for a new situation. No offer of an audience – just the fact that Vigano has been ostracised.

    This brood of vipers knows the gig is up.

  16. jazzclass says:

    Creepy levels of ultramontanism…

  17. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    “Reading how you end your last, seemingly very spiritual message, making light of yourself and casting doubt on his faith, seemed to me really too sarcastic, even blasphemous! This cannot come from the Spirit of God. [Blasphemy? I suggest that blasphemy is really about detraction against God, not against any human being, no matter what his role.]”

    It seems that Cardinal Oullet is suggesting that this is blasphemy against God by dangerously putting Pope Francis on the same level as God. As many have noted, there are multiple people inside the Church who (wrongly) think that PF’s thoughts, words, and actions are the thoughts, words, and actions of the Holy Spirit.

    If Cardinal Oullet suggests Archbishop Vigano is “blasphemous”, it may be because Cardinal Oullet has a gravely erroneous concept of Pope Francis’ thoughts, words, and actions and the papacy in general.

    Pope Francis himself has either stated directly or implied that his (Pope Francis’) actions/words are the actions/words of the Holy Spirit. That is gravely erroneous. Fr. Z. and others have mentioned this before; it seems that several of the liberals have rhetorically weaponized the Holy Spirit to suggest that Pope Francis essentially exhibits the will of the Holy Spirit, thus apparently making Pope Francis equal to God.

  18. Sonshine135 says:

    Cardinal Oullett’s strong words are not at all collegial. I think if I have found out anything during this scandal, it is how prideful many of these leaders of the church really are. How hard would it be for Pope Francis to authorize and independent council of sorts to investigate this matter and clear his name? I, for one, would hope this to be the case. The fact that good Bishops and Cardinals are often ignored by this Pope have shown me that he does not consider them worth the time to provide an answer. That is pride. He will wash the feet of Muslims, but he won’t shepherd the shepherds and the flock. This is what sticks in my craw.

  19. SanSan says:

    Thank you to all who have posted here. It really helps me to unravel what is going on. I believe Vigano. Praying for Holy Mother Church. The Curia is playing “hard ball” now. I pray Msgn Vigano is protected.

    Fr_Andrew……I don’t agree……we never make a mistake when we speak the truth.

    Fr. Z…….what say you?

  20. SanSan says:

    Today at 5pm, our Archbishop of San Francisco is giving the faithful the opportunity to be heard.
    Our Church needs a renewal.
    After years of not being “heard” by the clergy and AB, I hesitate to attend. Will it be just another “front” for business as usual…..watered down Liturgy (homilies like: can anybody name that tune?); bad catechsis–we’re all good, just the way we are; nothing to see here folks–oh that homosexual parish over there? Those non-catholic teachers living in sin–what??; contraception, abortion, abstainence, chasity–looking for a moral compass? You won’t find it here. Nothing “controversial” folks…..move on. Sigh. I’m going in…..Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in me the fire of your love…..speak for me.

  21. Prayerful says:

    This is probably the nearest thing to a response from Pope Francis, the humble Pope too proud to ever respond to questions or doubts posed by men of great repute and standing in the Church Militant. Now some supportive of the testimony in a general way, suggest the call for resignation goes too far, but the Testimony would have been marked ‘ignore’ like happened for the dubia and similar. The clear call for Francis to resign seems to have given the Testimony a life of its own, whereas the previous documents were nearly ‘dead on arrival.’ Speaking of pride, Cardinal Ouellet surely volunteered to make the response as his pride had been wounded by the first quoted paragraph, which strongly suggested he is utterly powerless.

  22. rwj says:

    Three very serious things:

    1. It confirms that Vigano was accurate with the most important details about McCarrick, and the Holy Father was told about this.

    2. I work for the Church in the USA, thus I am a mandated reporter. If any human tells me about the abuse of a minor, and I don’t act/report it to civil authorities, I will certainly loose my job– and face legal penalties.

    3. Cardinal Oullett’s sycophancy is way too obvious and foolish! In this climate to attack the accuser/whistle-blower is credibility suicide.
    The pope’s own nuncio who reported directly TRUE serious allegations about one of his Cardinals and the pope does nothing, even brings him out of mothballs and publicly embraces him, send him to China…

    Even if I were on the Holy Father’s PR team, I would be embarrassed by such a foolish response.

    P.S. Cardinal Oullett, if we had real media, would be confronted with making the excuse that the Holy Father can’t be expected to remember or care upon hearing from the one other man who’s business it is (Nuncio) that one of the 200 or so Cardinals is a pervert…..Is this the same way Oullett handles his own diocese when accusations arise?

  23. Cardinal Ouellet has indeed disgraced himself in that letter. The Court of Rome is once again, visibly, obviously, I mean, been populated with courtiers and lackeys and servants of even lesser character; let’s hope and pray that Franciscus’s successor is not worse than he is.

  24. Benedict Joseph says:

    Reading this I find myself shocked – why I should any longer find myself shocked after the last five years is beyond me – but I am indeed shocked by Cardinal Ouellet’s “open” letter to Archbishop Viganò. It is a demonstration of clerical imperialism in its grossest form. One is left amazed at how the denizens of this pontificate continually and without respite characterize its critics with judgements most appropriately applied to itself. It is as if the subject regards itself in a mirror and attributes its identity to another. Is there a clinical term for such behavior?
    There is absolutely no need for Ouellet to respond to Viganò publically. There is however a crying need for this pontificate to jettison the obtrufication and adopt a sincere honest engagement with the issues and the behavior Viganò brought to the attention of the Holy Father, and to do so officially, without rancor, and expeditiously.
    One is left to wonder how the exercise of the responsibilities of the Archbishop in the defense of the Church and the faithful who compose the Mystical Body of Christ are challenged when there are legions of priests who preach heresy and live unambiguously immoral lives. For example, how does a James Martin still have priestly faculties and a Jesuit pillow to rest his head upon each evening? How does a bishop publically perceived in his own country as living in concubinage find himself elevated to the cardinalate? How does the Cardinal Archbishop of Tegucigalpa find himself still intimately involved in the workings of this pontificate without discipline? How does any bishop in our Church find it acceptable to distribute the Holy Eucharist to those living a bigamous existence?
    Not going so far to say that everyone knew about Cardinal McCarrick despicable behavior, but if I knew about it during my monastic formation back in 2001, I think it’s safe to say that those who inhabit the rarified cocoon of the episcopate and cardinalate did. Information is the currency of choice in clergy circles. From my experience Archbishop Viganò remains the man standing in the room, despite Cardinal Ouellet’s vacuous protests and appeals to pious notions which obviously are only wheeled out when they can be weaponized.
    We seem to have arrived at a moment of history that the only members of the episcopate who have credence are the ones who have their head on the block. But isn’t that what all those advocates of “reading the signs of the times” have been looking forward to for the past sixty years?
    Our current problem far, far, exceeds the scandal of sexual abuse. That is merely a symptom of the loss of faith which is at the core of this hideous epoch, not merely in civil society, but in the Church.

  25. Charles E Flynn says:

    Catholic World Report has commentary by Christopher R. Altieri:

    Cardinal Ouellet’s letter forceful, but does not provide substantial refutation

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/10/07/cardinal-ouellets-letter-forceful-but-offers-nothing-in-the-way-of-substantial-refutation/

  26. VP says:

    What an undigified and empty statement by Ouellet and his co-authors. There was no denial of fact amid this paean to Francis. One can only hope that Vigano will start releasing whatever documentary evidence he has.

  27. VP says:

    What an undigified and empty statement by Card. Ouellet and his co-authors. There was no denial of fact amid this paean to Francis. One can only hope that Vigano will start releasing whatever documentary evidence he has.

  28. Arcgap says:

    Funny that McCarrick only had to “obey certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors about his behavior in the past.” that weren’t really sanctions because there wasn’t enough proof but there were many large cash payments to victims with gag orders as conditions. Unsubstantiated rumors do not get large cash settlements….
    Card. Ouellet does admit to previous knowledge of “rumors” that requires “conditions and restrictions” so there is that.

  29. Charles E Flynn says:

    Here is an amusing, insightful, and memorable expression.

    From https://twitter.com/MarcoTosatti/status/1049000569053110275 :

    Looking Forward@looking4wd

    Ouellet letter is a factual confirmation written in form of a total denial.

  30. tho says:

    It seems to me that Archbishop Vigano is about to receive the Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh treatment. If you can’t win with the truth it is all right to try other methods. The more I read about the hierarchy in the Vatican, the more I am convinced that they have borrowed a page from our own Democratic, media, and Hollywood play book. Instead of signing off with MAGA, I will sign off with a better slogan, Save the Liturgy, Save the World.

  31. The Astronomer says:

    In Viganò, Veritas…..

  32. Hidden One says:

    Cardinal Ouellet writing about Pope Francis reminds me of St. Ignatius of Antioch writing about bishops.

    Forgive me, but I do not believe that this letter from Cardinal Ouellet was written by a PR Committee, or as a political stunt, or any of that kind of thing. To me, it seemed authentic.

    In any case, charity demands that my immediate response to Cardinal Ouellet not be one of suspicion, of haste to believe evil of him.

    If I can give Archbishop Vigano the benefit of the doubt, I can give it also to Cardinal Ouellet.

    In both cases, I would be happier to stand before God saying that I erred in thinking too well of them than to stand before Him and say the opposite. As it happens, I see (at present) no difficulty in simultaneously believing in the good intentions, honesty, and general competency of both prelates.

  33. Robert_Caritas says:

    I went into reading this hopeful for a solid letter. Cardinal Ouellet has a solid reputation… But I honestly only read the first half until I started feeling sick. A deep defence of Pope Francis would have been great, but this only glazes over the deep issues. For any healing to happen, the Church needs serious engagement with them, and I thought Ouellet could have been one of the people able to do that…

  34. Pingback: Card. Ouellet’s Letter to Archbp. Viganò about the #ViganoTestimony |

  35. Livewire says:

    Well…….
    I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested: Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment,” he answered. “I will not say a single word on this.”…….
    – part of the Gallen reach –
    “I believe Vigano”
    We’ll maybe an observation. Has anyone else seen the video of Pope Benedict XVI going to his homeland in Germany and the group of Cardinals who stepped back and literally looked at his hand as he reached to shake hands? I don’t think you will find a clearer depiction of disrespect and how clearly the battle lines have been drawn. You can find it on Dr Taylor’s channel about Freemasonry at about the 50:50 point

  36. TonyO says:

    Wow, just wow. Lessons in reading between the lines…

    Card. Oullet scored some excellent points against Abp. Vigano, but then lost those and more points with what he let loose later. The weakest point of Vigano’s accusations all along has been that the so-called “sanctions” against McCarrick were sort of informal ones, not formal ones. Weird. It always looked, all along, as something odd in Vigano’s claim.

    Oullet hits Vigano squarely on that weak point. Good tactic there. But then he muffs the hit in several ways. First of all, he tacitly CONFIRMED for us the existence of the “informal” santions. Secondly he explained for us the rationale for the informality of them: they were an admonition to keep low and stay out of the limelight, so (presumably) no further reason comes forward to re-consider his case.

    And in fact, that very informality helps immensely to excuse Pope Francis of any sort of technical or definite positive error in regards to “relieving” the sanctions: there weren’t any “sanctions” to begin with. To the extent that one might even consider Benedict’s admonition to be something amount to a binding instruction … they were probably LIMITED TO BENEDICT’S papacy. If McCarrick were in the mood to be a prison-house lawyer, he could well argue “no sanctions were imposed on me”, but whatever was “imposed” would not have persisted into Francis’s reign. Francis wouldn’t have “lifted” the admonition, it simply lapsed. So, good defense of Francis… sort of. At least in the technical sense.

    But not from other angles. For instance, Oullet makes light of information from Vigano at the June 23 audienc: McCarrick was 82, and 7 years without a post, a bishop-emeritus without portfolio. Why would Francis be interested in him at all? Except… in 2013 and 2014 McCarrick was “making trips at the behest of the Vatican” and Pope Francis apparently both used him as an advisor and to help name bishops. So, no, that particular sally falls flat. Worse than flat: a man who is rumored to be a pervert should not be employed intimately in top matters even if you can’t prove he was guilty.

    And by the way, did Oullet just throw the entire Vatican under the bus to save Francis? Ok, so there were rumors about McCarrick that came to the Vatican. And what happened? They could not “substantiate” them “sufficiently”. But now, it comes out that (a) it was an OPEN SECRET in the US east coast hierarchy that he was not only a pervert but that he used his position of authority to force unwilling victims. And (b) at least one diocese had paid hush money to silence various victims, who must have had credible accusations. So, does that mean that the CDF and the Congregation for Bishops are complete dunderhead misfits ? Or, perhaps, that there was no actual investigation, just “rumors” that nobody bothered to actually check up on? Either way: heads should roll. including Oullet’s, possibly. Sorry, Marc, you’re a nice guy and all, but if you’ve got to take the hit for the boss, well, them’s the breaks. We can call you the “new Ollie North”.

    But Oullet really loses it in the second half. He should have stopped after the 4th or 5th paragraph, and it would have been a great effort. The second half is all nonsense. Blasphemy? Shmashphemy! And that oh-so-oblique threat to be excommunicated: did he think we can’t read? “Rediscover communion” indeed! That’s a threat, all right. And while it is probably an empty threat (at least, it WOULD be an empty threat if Vigano’s circumstances had taken place in any of the last 5 papal reigns), I would not like to be in Vigano’s shoes all the same: Francis has shown his meaner side more than once.

    If the Pope were not a man of prayer, if he were attached to money, if he favored the rich to the detriment of the poor, if he did not show an untiring energy to welcome all the poor and give them the generous comfort of his word and his gestures,

    If he taught clearly just once. If he respected his cardinals enough to answer the Dubia. If he respected tradition enough to set forth with clarity the traditional doctrine on sacraments. If he didn’t fire cardinals for following the rules, while talking “mercy” out of the other side of his mouth. There are too many contradictions for this litany to work, Oullet.

    Yes, this letter was probably the work of several people, but more likely than not Oullet had major and final say on its content. So it’s his letter even if parts of it were proposed by others. But it’s shameful.

    While the specifics that Oullet gave us may lift from Francis the technical responsibility of the accusation of “relieving” McCarrick of penalties, it doesn’t shift the burden of responsibility from Francis for making McCarrick a significant player in his administration, while McCarrick’s reputation was known to the Vatican. And that’s by far the more pervasive of the evils under consideration.

  37. Bev says:

    Cardinal Ouellet basically admits that McCarrick was under verbal orders. He doesn’t explain why the Pope rehabilitated him. Vigano testimonial confirmed: McCarrick was under discipline. Bishop Vigano is seeming more and more credible. This is the most counterproductive defense I’ve seen in a long time.

  38. MWindsor says:

    “After reviewing the archives, I note that there are no documents in this regard signed by either Pope, nor a note of an audience of my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, which would have given a mandate to the archbishop emeritus McCarrick to live a private life of silence, with the rigor of canonical penalties.”

    This makes my history degree bristle. Open the archives, your excellency. Let a trained and unbiased professional have a look.

    [Unless something has been “disappeared”.]

  39. Lurker 59 says:

    (First apologies for addressing Archbishop Vigano incorrectly above.)

    Apologies again for this being lengthy.

    It needs to be unequivocally stated that the answer to “Is not [absolute] communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and sustains him with his grace? ” is a strong NO.

    Drawing from Dominus Iesus 7 : “the proper response to God’s revelation is “the obedience of faith (Rom 16:26; cf. Rom 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) by which man freely entrusts his entire self to God, offering ‘the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals’ and freely assenting to the revelation given by him”.15 …The obedience of faith implies acceptance of the truth of Christ’s revelation, guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself:17 “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. ”

    The expressions of our obedience to Christ are first rooted in the truth of Christ’s revelation and chiefly personally adherence of man to God. From this flows the Catholic religion. Being Catholic is not to place the Petrine Office in the place of the individual’s personal adherence to God and His revealed truth. In this way, all of the baptized, including the occupant of the Petrine Office, are equally subservient and obedient to the Faith. The Petrine Office is thusly not a ruler of the Faith, but a servent, a rule, a measure, of the Faith bound equally in obedience as any of the Faithful.

    WIthin the Apostolic College (that is the body of bishops united in a “bond of unity, charity and peace” (Lumen gentium 22) there exists obedience to the Roman Pontiff that is particular to the bishops. Card. Ouellet is speaking in this letter to Archbp. Vigano as a brother, though he does not grant him the respect of his office. Let us ask with this nuance if “is not communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our [the biships] obedience to Christ”?

    No again. LG 21 instructs bishops that the expressions of obedience to Christ are the authentic fulfilling of the duties of preaching the Gospel of Grace, gloriously promulgating the Spirit, and proclaiming justification, where they chiefly act as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

    LG 22, though it stats that the authority of the bishop is dependent upon the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it likewise states that the authority of the Roman Pontiff is dependent upon Christ’s authority. Thus, obedience to the Roman Pontiff is not absolute in it of itself, but flows from the Roman Pontiff’s obedience to Christ. Further still, LG 22 also states that the actual function of the bishops acting in unity with the Roman Pontiff is not one of absolute, in it of itself, obedience but rather of fraternity and collegiality the exact working out being specifically described as “the very ancient discipline”.

    Peeling back to Vatican I Sec 3 Ch 3.2, we find the following: “[All] are bound to submit to this power [of the Roman Pontiff] by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.” First, it is clearly noted that before even getting to this section is the the Roman Pontiff (Pius IX then) first binds himself in obedience to a Profession of Faith (Sec 2) and subsequently the bishops to the same and additionally in obedience to the Roman Pontiff (then Pius IX) (note 1), and on behalf of their flock the bishops profess the same for the faithful (note 2). In a logical sequence, the members of the Body of Christ are bound first in obedience to Christ and then to each other in the duty of hierarchical subordination.

    True obedience is not defined in Vatican I, so we must turn elsewhere.

    Turning to the Summa, we read II.II.Q104.Art5, St. Thomas describes two modes of obedience that are true and one mode that is false: “Accordingly we may distinguish a threefold obedience; one, sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey: secondly, perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful: thirdly, indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.”

    Thus, the ‘true obedience’ of Vatican I, does not consist of indiscreet obedience, or obeying when the obedience is contrary to the God natural or written law. (Reply to Objection 2).

    IN SUMMARY: Communion with the Roman Pontiff, in it of itself, is not “an expression of our obedience to Christ” because communion with the Roman Pontiff is hierarchically secondary to communion with the Gospel, from when communion with the Roman Pontiff and is predicated upon the Roman Pontiff’s submission and obedience to the Faith. This is especially true if we are taking “communion” out of context of the Roman Pontiff being submitted and obedient to the Faith.

    Addendum: The Roman Pontiff is not submitted and obedient to the Faith because he says he is — that is to make him the ruler of the faith, but because he is a rule (that is measured) of the Faith. Just as you can demonstrate that a meter-stick is a meter in length, the Roman Pontiff is demonstrated as the rule of Faith because he is so bound and submitted as proven by his actions. The meter stick is indeed a rule for what is a meter when it measures as a meter that which is known to be a meter. The Roman Ponfiff is indeed the rule of Faith when he measures out as the Faith that which has been previously measured to be the Faith. (This is the point of the Dubia and why Pope Francis won’t answer them).

  40. threej says:

    I could break this down detail by detail, but others have already hit most the important points here. I’ll just say this–

    This letter reads very schizophrenic– “Everything you said is true. I can’t fathom how you came to the decisions you did!” He confirms all of Vigano’s claims as factual, and then denounces him for observing them.

    His entire underlying defense is just ultramontanism, “The pope is holy! Therefore you are wrong to have any opinion that he can do something wrong!”

    It’s just really bizarre.

  41. Alaskamama says:

    Ouellet’s glowing endorsement of Francis’s change to the catechism on the death penalty tells me all I need to know.
    Meanwhile, our archbishop is delighted with this statement.
    Long live Vigano!

  42. Beltway Catholic says:

    Thanks, Alaskamama, for reminding us not to forget Ouellet’s sycophancy concerning Amoris Laetitia.

    “My interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which you complain about, is inscribed in this fidelity to the living tradition, of which Francis has given us an example with the recent modification of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the question of the death penalty.”

    Fidelity to tradition means accepting innovation. Truly Orwellian. That’s what it takes to be in PF’s good graces?

  43. maternalView says:

    Ouellet says about the Pope’s behavior “I imagine” and “strongly doubt”. Huh. But he doesn’t say that’s what the Pope said! This is him just giving us his opinion and we’re to take that as if that’s the truth! “I imagine” isn’t forthright. It’s suggesting that could be the reason without telling the truth or lying. He says nothing specific in refuting Vigano’s claims. It’s like reading an article by the main stream media. Statements with no substance said as if they were fact. This didn’t change anything.

    I don’t care how busy or overwhelmed with business and activity you are, you’re going to remember someone said something about a Cardinal who abuses males! Come on! He probably doesn’t remember? If he doesn’t then that’s a problem too!

  44. Rob83 says:

    The key part of the entire letter is this:

    Moreover, the written instructions given to you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your mission in 2011 did not say anything about McCarrick, except for what I mentioned to you verbally about his situation as Bishop emeritus and certain conditions and restrictions he had to follow on account of some rumors about his past conduct.

    Repeating Ouellet’s point from before this, why should Vigano be given any instruction concerning a man who had at that point been an emeritus bishop nearly 5 years and then 80 years old. The key here is that the instructions were verbal. By canon law (cf. canons 1339 and 1340), occult transgressions by McCarrick could not be punished by public censure, it would have to have been privately handled, hence a verbal instruction concerning what the censure was.

    Ouellet is essentially confirming that there was a censure of transgressions that were occult at the time and therefore not something that he could put in a public document. He is also implying that it was on Benedict’s own initiative, as he himself did not present the case, nor did his predecessor. But as he should surely know, it is a non-sequiter to claim that there had been no formal imposition of censure – there would be no restrictions otherwise! A document should exist in the Vatican Archive detailing the censure if Vigano’s testimony is true, assuming the mail inspectors from the last synod have not been dispatched to the archives to remove it.

  45. MrsMacD says:

    So, he’s sending out a signal from a hostile place. I agree with you but I’ve got to cover my fanny.

    Who can say whether Cardinal Ouillet got a picture of his mother in his mailbox telling him to come out onside with Pope Francis.

  46. MrsMacD says:

    As for ‘everything Pope Francis says is the Holy Spirit,’ giggle, “I am the devil.”

  47. monstrance says:

    The Canadian Cardinal has been sucked into the vortex.
    He is usually on the short list of the papabile.

    Not saying these are power moves, but he has clearly thrown his lot in with the modernists.

  48. Father Flores says:

    He meets with Pope Francis “for a long time each week” and yet has to cobble together and answer based on his impressions and imagination?

    On another note: This entire letter reads like a speech given by Saruman when he was trapped in the tower.

  49. tominrichmond says:

    The inmates are running the asylum. I like the part where he boasts about Francis attempting to alter the irreformable Magisterial teaching concerning the liceity of resort to the death penalty.

    I thought “clericalism” was the cause of these problems and worst of sins. Isn’t this ultramontanist papolotry itself the ultimate expression of clericalism?

  50. Therese says:

    Ah, the gloves are off. His Excellency is not looking for support, he’s trying to force disclosure of those documents. I had thought his second letter would do the job, but the regime is too well entrenched. What will it take?

  51. LatinMan says:

    Note the anger and invective directed towards Viganò in this letter, and compare with the anger and invective (or lack thereof) expressed by the bishops when McCarrick’s crimes become known or when the PA report came out. Telling.

  52. Man-o-words says:

    Goodness gracious, this letter stinks to high heaven of . . . something I came out my finger on. What is clear is that it was written by a sycophant of Francis, and is nauseatingly self aggrandizing without a single fact to support the position. It is condescending and self righteous, it ignores so many obvious facts. I do not know this Bishop, but I would bet you a beer that the Oulette that Vigano knew did not write this of his own free will.

    Fact: the men who praise and protect Pope Francis are heretics and are pro- homosexuality.

    Fact: This Cardinal who Francis put into powerful roles had, at the very least, very serious rumors surrounding him, yet the Pope did not have those investigated prior?

    Fact: These rumors were of a VERY serious nature. The Pope would not “forget” he was told these these things if he saw them as serious. If he did not see these rumors as being of a serious nature, that is a problem in and of itself.

    Fact: At the same time he was elevating men with stink on them, he was demoting men with solid reputations.

    You cannot read this letter and reconcile it with those facts. One of these is truth, one is not. And the facts above are perfectly and verifiably accurate.

  53. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Cardinal Ouellet believes that Archbishop Viganò has behaved in a manner unfitting for a bishop, and disrespectful toward the Pope. What is wrong with that? The Archbishop asked for Ouellet’s opinion. Viganò specifically called out Ouellet to give his response to the present controversy. Be careful what you asked for! It was Viganò who dragged Ouellet into this fray–no one should cry, “How dare you!” when the Cardinal is blunt.

    Viganò did not say, “Please write a response which agrees with me.” He did not tell Ouellet, “Please write only that which will make me look good.” He asked his Eminence to “bear witness to the truth.” Well, this is the truth as Ouellet sees it. He prefaces his comments about the crisis, and about Viganò personally, with phrases that are subjective, based on how he sees Viganò. Each of you has your right to an opinion on the former nuncio. So does Cardinal Ouellet.

    His Eminence says that Viganò’s letter is deplorable “to me,” that Viganò’s labeling of the Curia as corrupt “seems unjust to me,” that in being influenced to call for the Pope’s resignation, “I cannot understand how you allowed yourself” to do such a thing. It’s all his opinion–his subjective opinion.

    A poisonous invective or a diatribe is different than what Ouellet does, since it involves making damning judgments of how a person *is* as opposed to how you subjectively *perceive* them. If Viganò did not want his Eminence to comment on behavior, and give his perceptions, then the Archbishop should have asked someone else to “bear witness” to the truth, as they see the truth.

    It is patently unjust, in my personal opinion, to begrudge the silence of the Curia. And then, when his Eminence speaks out, to demonize him for being critical of Viganò based upon his Eminence’s study of the curial documents, his long hours of working with the Pope, and his recollections of the status of McCarrick as he says he communicated those, to Viganò.

  54. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Does Cardinal Ouellet have grounding in Catholic theology to state that some of Viganò’s words against the Pope “cannot come from God’s spirit”? Or worse, would it be “blasphemy” to be mocking or sarcastic to describe the personal prayer life or the faith that the Pope has?

    In my opinion, it certainly would be part of the sin of “personal sacrilege” or irreverent treatment of a sacred person (e.g. the Roman Pontiff). I here do not speak of the canonical crime of personal sacrilege, which is a different matter. Rather, I speak of the sin. Aquinas stated that “sacrilege committed against a sacred person is a grave sin than that which is committed against a sacred place” (Summa II-II, ques. 99, art. 3).

    St. Paul speaks to us also of the way to speak of a sacred person when he was addressing the High Priest: “And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest. For it is written: Thou shalt not speak evil of the prince of thy people” (Acts 23:5). He was quoting Exodus 22:28: “You must not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.”

    The Apostle did not know he was conversing with the High Priest, and was cautioned on how to speak. He did not attempt to rationalize disrespect by giving a dissertation on free speech and how he would tell Peter off if he had to. The Apostle did not say, “If I believe it is for the public good, I may challenge my superior in public, even if it is sarcastic and sullies his character before others.”

    If all the ex-nuncio did was state that the Pope had failed in his duties to the Church and should prayerfully consider whether he is capable of pastoring the Church, it would have been a respectful show of lack of confidence. But the Archbishop went further, and publicly impeached Francis’ character as a person (e.g. accusing the Pope of asking about McCarrick not out of real concern but in order to phish for Viganò’s sense of loyalty).

    It is reasonable after these weeks of bitter fighting even between faithful Catholics, and the loss of faith of those whose confidence in the Church is gone, for his Eminence to say to the Archbishop that “without clear evidence your public accusations seriously damage the reputation of the Successors of the Apostles” and of “of exacerbating hostility against” the Pope. While perhaps not blasphemy, it would easily fall under personal sacrilege as defined by many spiritual authors.

    In fact, I invite people who have commented on the Cardinal’s response to prayerfully consider whether some of the words stated about Cardinal Ouellet do not constitute a sacrilege of a sacred person. In 2 Kings 2:23, Elijah was passing and some young people said, “Go up, bald man, go up.” And for this reason God permitted female bears to come out of the woods and tear up those people.

    David himself would not harm King Saul because he was the “anointed of the Lord.” If an Old Testament prophet and a king could be so respected as God’s anointed, why would it please God to see ugly words and phrases used to describe both the Pope and the Cardinal who share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ?

  55. crjs1 says:

    Very well said Fr Sotelo. The bitterness and ridicule of the Holy Father and Vigano by many in all ‘sides’ is so disheartening and makes finding the truth even more difficult.

  56. robtbrown says:

    I keep reading articles where the pope or Cardinals refer to rumors. That is dishonest evasion.

    In the Offices for the Sacred Congregation of Bishops there are files that contain very thorough dossiers on every bishop and every candidate for the episcopacy. If the McCarrick dossier does not contain references to his homosexual antics, then someone removed them.

    There is also the possibility that someone in authority decided they would not go in the dossier–or they should be ignored.

    It must be kept in mind that McCarrick had friends in high places in addition to his friends in low (i.e., infernal) places.

  57. Pingback: #ViganoTestimony 3.0!  Powerful response to accusations, points to crisis of homosexuality #sodoclericalism | Fr. Z's Blog

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