The Holy Roman Catholic Church – as it exists in the United States – is officially in a world of chaos over the latest testimony given by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò discussing his tenure as the former Pontifical Representative to the US from the Vatican. The Church was rocked this weekend when His Excellency Viganò detailed eleven pages of misconduct, criminality and corruption within US Catholic leadership.
The testimony of Viganò contains a number of shattering revelations about the bungled US priest scandals over the last few generations. Among other things, His Excellency Viganò has called for the resignation of Most Holy father Pope Francis.
Many Americans are shocked by what they are reading or hearing in the mainstream media about the Viganò allegations. Many in the press are excerpting and interpreting the document toward various conclusions. Some are cherry picking the document for information that they want Catholics to understand in order to fulfill a preordained narrative of their choosing. Others remain entirely too quiet about Viganò’s official testimony. Quoting Lifesite News:
The Pope was questioned about the allegation aboard the papal plane this evening on the way back to Rome after his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families…
…“I believe that the statement speaks for itself, and you all have sufficient journalistic ability to draw conclusions. It is an act of trust. When a little time goes by, and you have drawn conclusions, perhaps I will speak about it, but I would like your professional maturity to do this work. It will do you all good, really.”
To that end, I would STRONGLY recommend that you read the entire letter from Viganò for yourself before you allow yourself to react to any news story. As devastating as the revelation appears in excerption, it will bring you to tears in its entirety. If even a fraction of what Viganò has claimed is true, it speaks to unfathomable evil and must be eradicated.
I’m in agreement with Pope Francis on this one point. Because the allegations are so profound and touch the reputations of so many thought leaders in the United States Church, swift reaction is ill-advised. At the end of the day, I’m as devastated as anyone who loves his or her faith, but I would like justice to win over mindless repercussion.
If the pope has no culpability in this matter then he’s under no obligation to resign, and I would recommend that he doesn’t. From my perspective, if I were falsely accused of covering up criminal acts, I would offer zero feedback regarding those accusations. The old saying holds true. It’s pretty hard to prove a negative.
I would, however, demand documentation from Viganò regarding this life-altering testimony. Truthfully, burden of proof is on him. Now – a couple of things…
First, I generally distrust Pope Francis. From my perspective (and, yes. I’ll be using that phrase a lot.) he’s the worst kind of politician. I can’t quite put my finger on what I don’t like about his papacy. It just rubs me the wrong way.
Perhaps it’s because his manner of speaking is often wrought with clichés and verbal manipulations. At his worst, I have found him to be less than forthcoming about his own controversies. At best, I’ve decided that he lacks judgment or awareness of the import associated with his own spoken words – I believe he fails to control his own messaging.
Second, I have read Viganò’s whole document. I have formed a preliminary opinion based on that reading and I think I believe him. I am open to having that opinion changed, but I think what Viganò has written is credible.
From my perspective, there are points within it that are deeply emotional and editorial. They are subjective and can’t be viewed as anything but evidence of passionate deflection. I view Viganò as distraught and concerned about fallout.
Most of the document is methodical though, and it completely torches his own future within the Church. He’s burning a lot of bridges with some very powerful Catholic cardinals and bishops. For whatever reason, he’s all in. So committed is he to his viewpoint, that it screams of whistle-blower. To an establishment that’s been complacent, downright negligent or complicit, his full commitment to his testimony should be deeply concerning.
One thing is clear. A whole lot of “someones” are bearing false witness here. Someone is either committing a sin of omission or commission. I’m not sure which, and I’m willing to wait and see, but I won’t be the typical American consumer of information who is completely furious until the next news cycle when something bigger and more infuriating pops up. This one resonates and it’s going to stick with me.
The thing that bothers me about Pope Francis’s statement isn’t his lack of denial of the accusations. Rather, it’s what seems like his dog-whistle wording to the press. Indulge my repetition for a moment. Addressing members of the media:
…and you all have sufficient journalistic ability to draw conclusions…When a little time goes by, and you have drawn conclusions, perhaps I will speak about it.
I’m not happy with that response. When I see those words, my B.S. antenna goes up and I start to worry about Pope Francis’s love affair with moral relativism. Because of this concern, I beseech the Catholic faithful to pray for the spiritual, mental and physical healing of victims that were abused.
Also pray fervently for God to assert His authority over His Church and completely purge Her of the heinous, violent conspiracy that’s unfolding before us.
But whatever you do, do not give me that same-old-same-old cliché about, “I can’t trust the Church anymore. I’m washing my hands of this.”
For the Catholic faithful, the Church Triumphant has been there for you a thousand times and in a thousand ways. Do not abandon Her representation here on earth when She needs you the most. Stand up and demand the reform and rebirth of Her earthly mission, and settle for nothing less. It is thankless work, but if successful, you will truly be a part of change that matters.