Posted by: Thomas Richard | August 27, 2018

What Title Can Fit The Unthinkable?

A report of a stunning, deeply troubling letter by a former Papal Nuncio (the Pope’s Ambassador to the U.S.) made public two days ago (Aug 25, 2018), is sending shock waves through the Church.  Faithful, loyal Catholics are faced now with the unthinkable: credible charges of papal knowledge, support and cover-up in a case of widely alleged grave sexual misconduct by then-Cardinal Theodore MacCarrick, on the part of Pope Francis.

Following the tidal wave of sexual abuse charges against priests and bishops and cardinals of the Church finding unimaginable and horrific charges of years of free predatory serial sexual abuses perpetrated by then-Cardinal Theodore MacCarrick, it all has gotten even worse: was the Pope involved?

The former Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, chose to publicize all this, the National Catholic Register reported, to “stop the suffering of the victims, to prevent new victims and to protect the Church: only the truth can make her free.” And further, to “discharge my conscience in front of God of my responsibilities as bishop for the universal Church.”  Knowing that he is an “old man” he wanted to stand before God “with a clean conscience.”

The Archbishop added, “The people of God have the right to know the full truth also regarding their shepherds. They have the right to be guided by good shepherds. In order to be able to trust them and love them, they have to know them openly, in transparency and truth, as they really are. A priest should always be a light on a candle, everywhere and for all.”

Critical parts, at least, of Vigano’s charges agains the pope were confirmed by Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counsellor at the U.S. apostolic nunciature: Vigano “told the truth,” he said.

A portion of Archbishop Vigano’s letter, perhaps something of a summary, is duplicated below:

I want to recall [the] indefectible truth of the Church’s holiness to the many people who have been so deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis and by the conspiracy of silence of so many pastors, and who are tempted to abandon the Church, disfigured by so many ignominies. At the Angelus on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Pope Francis said these words: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do … If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.” 

If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church! 

Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock. 

In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them. 

I encourage my readers to read Archbishop Vigano’s letter themselves. The eleven-page letter of the former Papal Nuncio was released to several news sources and is available on-line.  It can be read in entirety or down-loaded HERE.  It is hard to read, and long and involved, and deeply troubling.  Other well-known bishops and cardinals were also implicated in his letter.  

Pope Francis himself was asked about this letter and his response to it, by news reporters as he was leaving Ireland and the World Meeting for Families.  The Pope answered:

I will say sincerely that I must say this, to you, and all of you who are interested: Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves.  I will not say one word on this. I think the statement speaks for itself.

The following sentences of the Pope’s answer were added here, from a later, complete transcript of the Pope’s in-flight interview published by the Catholic News Agency:

And you have the journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions. It’s an act of faith. When some time passes and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak. But, I would like your professional maturity to do the work for you. It will be good for you. That’s good. (inaudible)

Whatever the full truth, when finally revealed, of this whole horrible episode in the life of the Church, it is certain that we are strongly and urgently being called by God to prayer: to fervent, heart-felt and holy prayer to Mary, to the angels and saints, to God the Holy Trinity, that His perfect will be done, that His Kingdom of truth, of justice, of peace and of holy love come – and may it come soon.  May we all – laity and clergy at all levels of the Church – seek the holiness of life that our Lord deserves of His followers, and that people of the whole world deserve from His witnesses sent to them. 

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus.


  1. Dear Thomas,

    It was heart-rending to read the Nuncio’s letter, but thank you for sharing it. God desires us to know and live His Truth in Love. Praying for the Church is so very important, and especially to pray with Mary our Mother and Model. Jesus from His Cross gave her to us, by His words to John (and through John to us): “Son, behold your Mother”. John obeyed, taking Mary into his life.

    St. John Paul II spoke of this need in an address on Oct. 30, 1982, when he warned: “When one moves away from the Mother, sooner or later he ends up keeping distant from the Son as well. It is no wonder today, in various sectors of society, we note a widespread crisis of faith in God, preceded by a drop in devotion to the Virgin Mother.”

    Holy Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, pray for us.

  2. Thank you, Thomas and Deborah. This is indeed a rough time for Mother Church. When Pope Francis created the new title for Mary “Mary, mother of the Church,” I was hopeful and took it as a good sign. Recent events appear to show otherwise.

    Must be time for renewal. I think we will see a renewal of the faithful. By that I mean that the faithful will become more faithful, though many others will probably leave the church. Just as predicted by Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict, the Church might become small but at its core vital and vibrant for the glory of God. If this is part of the Tribulation, we are humbled to be in it – among the faithful.

    I ask for God’s mercy for all involved and I am more than ever grateful for His promise and encouraged by it: the gates of hell will not prevail against her.

    In the Two Hearts,
    Ann Griffin

    • I feel sure you will, Ann, but please hold fast and continue with your prayers for true, authentic renewal. It will come; He is making all things new.

  3. Oh Thomas, I am so sad over this I hurt everywhere. I am angry, but mostly so sad. They desecrated the Holy Eucharist!!! and laughed about it. Oh Jesus how could they add pain to what you have already suffered?? I am praying for our Church. God make it Holy again. I pray the Pope resigns and all those involved with all the abuse.

    • Thank you, Susan, for your comment. This is His Church, and He will remain to the end – but oh, the horror that men are capable of, even within His Holy Church!

  4. Thank you Thomas for your contribution during this exposure of the events. I was a victim of that era as my offender was part of a select group of his church, headed by their priest, almost like a club of sorts. The mentality back then was so frightening, almost as though it was a form of worship for them. It took years of counseling and a lot of pain to heal before I was able to talk about it openly. My offender was my own grandfather (my Dad’s Dad) and the pain it caused was not only my own, but for my poor father and mother. It also was the custom to push it all under the carpet and not confront the offender or make public the scandal for our family as well. It simply was not discussed ever!!!!!!! hence what has happened in the Church as well. I am glad our culture today allows us to open up and go public with events that occurred. Perhaps all concerned will finally be able to heal and move forward to some sort of normalcy. May God look upon us all and guide us through this difficult time with all of His graces, Amen.

    • Thank you, Deb, for sharing with us all some of the pain of your experience. It is difficult to believe that a grown man could abuse a child: one so helpless – vulnerable – at first, at least, so trusting. Yet evil preys on the weak, the vulnerable, stealing from them whatever pleases them. It is the heartless tyranny of self-love, self-centeredness, self-preoccupation…. They leave a trail of hurt and wounds in their wake. God made us for so much more, for true lives of beauty and love.

      Yes, let us pray for this lost and confused world, men and women offered so much more, if they could only reach out for Him.

  5. I, and some others, know some things about some individuals named in the 11 page letter, and about persons and affairs connected to at least one of them. At least one of us has suffered reprisal, others have received threats. There aren’t genuine channels for whistle blowing. Please believe in Holy Spirit power for caring. By your prayers, for our safety and for prudence and discernment for us, and that there be genuine kind and wise hearts among authorities, and genuine kind and wise hearted companions at our sides. Thank you. Our Father. Glory Be.

    • Thank you, Austin, for this comment. I hear something of the great cost already paid by you and others, in the message – the warning – the pain and the prayers. As this disturbing present darkness is revealed more and more to be here among us – I groan to say this – IN HIS CHURCH – one truth becomes more and more clear: God’s call to us to holiness. To reparation. To be His Light, as the Church was sent to be, in this world.

      I am reminded of the story in Genesis 15, as God began to reveal His restoration of man, to men. Abram was shown the glory of the call and the promise, when God gave inner assurance to him and to Sara his wife that they would not remain childless – but would in truth see the human beginning of a new people, a people of God. Abram looked up at and into the night sky, so black, to behold bright and beautiful stars too many to number, and he believed. He believed! What powerful, transformative hope such believing brings to us even today. God continues to unfold His restoration, HIs transformation, His glory.

      There has been and will continue to be a cost, for His free gift, paid in suffering and in love together, all gathered into the Cross of the Lord Jesus. Yes, let us please all pray as one in Him that the Father’s Kingdom come, and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He is making all things new, thanks be to God. May His grace strengthen you, in Him.

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