Francis’ leadership a “Cancer” – prominent archbishop charged with schism


The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has formally charged Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó with schism.

This could lead to his excommunication and removal from the clerical state.

On 20th May, senior officers of the Vatican’s Dicastery opened an extrajudicial penal trial against Viganó.

The decree states that this process was deemed appropriate without prior investigation, as the evidence was already collected and publicly available.

Archbishop Viganó, a former nuncio to the United States, is accused of making public statements that deny elements necessary to maintain communion with the Catholic Church.

The statements include rejecting the legitimacy of Pope Francis, breaking communion with him and rejecting the Second Vatican Council. Such actions are defined as schism under Canon 1364 of the Code of Canon Law. This mandates automatic excommunication for such offences.

The trial is set to follow Canon 1364, which also allows for additional penalties if the gravity of the offence warrants them, including dismissal from the clerical state.

If Viganó is convicted, the penalties will require papal confirmation.

Pope’s leadership a “cancer”

Archbishop Viganó was summoned to the Vatican to respond to the charges and presented himself on 20th June. He submitted a written defence, later published on a supporter’s blog, describing the charges as an “honour”.

In the letter, he referred to Pope Francis by his given name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Viganó also referred to his leadership as a “cancer” within the Church.

“It is no coincidence that the accusation against me concerns the questioning of the legitimacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the rejection of Vatican II: the Council represents the ideological, theological, moral and liturgical cancer of which the Bergoglian ‘synodal church’ is necessary metastasis” the archbishop wrote.

Vigano considers himself as a successor of the apostles and in full communion with the Church, however he rejects the “neo-modernist heresies of the Second Vatican Council”.

A canon lawyer who reviewed Viganó’s defence noted that his statements affirm the charges of schism, calling it a clear declaration of separation from the Church. This reinforces the prosecution’s case.

The extrajudicial procedure is expected to conclude swiftly. If Viganó is found guilty, his excommunication will be publicly declared and remain in force until he repents. The penalties, including potential dismissal from the clerical state, would then await the Pope’s confirmation.

According to Vatican News, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on Thursday in reaction to the news: “Archbishop Viganò has taken some attitudes and some actions for which he must answer.”

Parolin added: “I am very sorry because I always appreciated him as a great worker, very faithful to the Holy See, someone who was, in a certain sense, also an example.

“When he was apostolic nuncio he did good work.”


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