Pope apologizes for ‘crimes’ against Irish women, babies

Hannah Rogers
August 28, 2018

"Archbishop Viganò has not produced in his testimony any objectively verifiable proof that he in any way communicated to Cardinal Wuerl restrictions imposed on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI".

A former top Vatican official accused Pope Francis of having known of allegations of sex abuse by a prominent USA cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation last month, and he called on the pontiff to resign.

The Pope told reporters he believes the statement from Vigano speaks for itself.

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

"I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested: Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment", he said aboard the papal plane.

"Cardinals are exempt from the jurisdiction of the local ordinary", or bishop, Martens said.

Pope Francis said Sunday that he will not comment on claims by a former Vatican ambassador to the USA that the Pope knew about allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and reinstated him in ministry.

"You have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions", he said.

"When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions, perhaps I will talk". Cupich said he hosted Vigano three times in Chicago: once for when he was installed as archbishop and two other times.

Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation as cardinal last month, after a USA church investigation determined that an accusation he had groped a teen-ager in the 1970s was credible.

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In his letter, Vigano said he personally informed Pope Francis about the sexual misconduct accusations against McCarrick in June 2013 - just after he was elected pope and more than five years before he suspended McCarrick, now 88, from any public ministry and ordered him to spend the rest of his life in prayer and penance.

Vigano wrote that he told Francis: "Holy Father, I don't know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation of Bishops, there is a dossier this thick about him". He didn't offer any proof of the alleged conversation.

He served as the Vatican's ambassador to Washington from 2011 until 2016.

According to the former nuncio's testimony, the Vatican was informed in 2000 of allegations that Archbishop McCarrick "shared his bed with seminarians" by two former USA nuncios - Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo and Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

A devastating report earlier this month accused more than 300 priests in the USA state of Pennsylvania of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1950s.

The Church in Ireland is also struggling to connect with a younger generation, many of whom don't attend Mass and have had their faith damaged by scandals.

The Irish Catholic Church has been rocked by revelations of paedophile priests, sexual abuse in Catholic-run orphanages, and the exploitation of women in mother-and-baby homes. Pope Francis opened a service Sunday in Dublin by asking for forgiveness for the "scandal and betrayal" felt by victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

Last month, the Pope accepted McCarrick's resignation following the release of evidence that he had abused a child.

Organizers had been expecting a crowd of 500,000 people, but only about 200,000 gathered. Pope Francis is on a two-day visit to Ireland.

"Pope Francis has the power, but apparently does not have the will, to effect necessary change", the group added.

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