Pope dismisses accusations by ex-papal envoy

Pope Francis has dismissed the accusations of a former Vatican ambassador that he covered up for ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Francis says an 11-page document of claims released by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò “speaks for itself”.

Asked about the letter from  in a press conference aboard the Aug. 26 flight back to Rome after his visit to Ireland, Francis advised journalists to “read the statement attentively and make your own judgment.”

“I will not say a single word on this,” the pope said of the letter.

“I think this statement speaks for itself, and you have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions.”

“When some time passes and you have your conclusions, maybe I will speak,” said Francis. “But I would like that your professional maturity carries out this task.”

Three Popes knew about McCarrick

In the letter Viganò released to the National Catholic Register and LifeSiteNews, he claimed that since 2000, three popes,  as well as former and current senior Church officials have been covering-up allegations about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abusing seminarians.

On Sunday Viganò told The Washington Post he wouldn’t comment further, beyond confirming that he was the letter’s author.

The accusations in the letter are unsubstantiated, but a number of people are named who are said to have known about the situation.

This is not the first time Viganò has been the immersed in controversy.

 Implicated in Vatileaks

Before becoming Ambassador to the United States Viganò, was the Secretary-General of the Vatican City Governatorate.

In 2010 he was implicated in the so-called Vatileaks scandal.

Some of  Viganò’s letters were leaked. In them, he warned of corruption, abuse of power, a lack of transparency in awarding contracts and opposition to financial reforms.

He was subsequently removed from office and appointed to Washington in 2011.

In February 2012  the current and immediate past presidents of the Governorate of Vatican City State released a statement about the leaked letters.

They said the letters contained assertions based on “erroneous evaluations” or “fears unsupported by proof”.

Arranged a controversial meeting in the USA

When the Pope was visiting the United States Viganò arranged a meeting between the pope and a Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis.

She had gained notoriety by turning away gay couples seeking marriage.

Davis’ attorney said that she received a phone call from Viganò insisting on a meeting with the pope.

“We were led to believe that the invitation did come directly from Pope Francis,” the attorney said at the time.

The Vatican later accused Viganò of keeping the pope in the dark about the surprise encounter.

Cover-ups

According to Crux Now, Viganò was accused of his own mishandling of sex abuse allegations; encouraging Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche to destroy documents relating to the investigation of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

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