Pope Francis must resign, says former Vatican ambassador after Cardinal’s sex abuse

Pope Francis must resign, says former Vatican ambassador after Cardinal’s sex abuse

Pope Francis must resign, says former Vatican ambassador after Cardinal’s sex abuse

Pope Francis allegedly removed those unconfirmed sanctions and made McCarrick "his trusted counselor" despite knowing him to be a "serial predator".

When asked about Archbishop Vigano's reputation, Figueiredo replied, "I know him personally".

McCarrick last month became the first cardinal in living memory to resign his position after a review concluded that claims he had sexually abused a 16-year-old boy were credible.

Francis, talking to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from Dublin, said he would "not say one word" on the 11-page document, in which the former official says Francis should resign.

He said the sanctions were put in place in 2009 or 2010 but did not recall an exact date.

The Vatican didn't comment or confirm the letter's authenticity.

He also alleged that several USA prelates were aware or should have known about then-Cardinal McCarrick's behavior, including retired Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen; retired Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark; Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, head of the Vatican office for laity and family and former auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., and Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The document by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, was an unprecedented broadside against the pope by a Church insider.

It reads: "The minister first told me something that didn't have too much to do with mother and children (Editor's note: mother and baby homes)".

Vigano said he had told Francis in June 2013, just after he was elected pope by his fellow cardinals, about the accusations against McCarrick.

Per Vigano's account, McCarrick's misconduct with seminarians was known in Catholic hierarchy for years, and former Pope Benedict XVI ordered him to seclusion for prayer and penance almost a decade ago.

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According to Vigano, a memo from Archbishop Montalvo was ignored as well as a memo he penned to the Secretariat of State, then Archbishop Fernando Filoni, in 2008 where he repeated "to my superiors that I thought it was necessary to intervene as soon as possible by removing the cardinal's hat from Cardinal McCarrick".

Barry Coburn, McCarrick's civil attorney, said the allegations in the Vigano letter are "serious". McCarrick was known to have been one of the Vatican's intermediaries in the U.S. -Cuba talks in 2014.

Vigano's claims have raised speculation of a campaign against the pontiff by conservatives in the Church.

The letter also contains a lengthy diatribe about homosexuals in the Catholic church.

Vigano himself has had his own problems with allegations of trying to hide the truth.

Asked about how the "People of God" can and should respond to evils perpetrated by priests, Pope Francis urged families to believe their children.

Some who turned out for him in the Irish village of Knock, where a group of locals in 1879 said they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, said Pope Francis should be given time to deal with the abuse issues that have rocked the church for decades.

The cover-up accusation, which Vigano denied, concerned allegations that he tried to quash an investigation into the former archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, John Nienstedt, who was accused of misconduct with adult seminarians. No charges were filed.

The Church's standing has been badly dented by the abuse scandals and the Irish have shed traditional Catholic mores, voting earlier this year to legalise abortion after approving same-sex marriage in 2015.

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