Archbishop calls on pope to resign for 'covering up' abuse


Associated Press

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE

Pope Francis declined Sunday to confirm or deny claims by the Vatican’s retired ambassador to the United States that he knew in 2013 about sexual misconduct allegations against the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, but rehabilitated him anyway.

Francis said the 11-page text by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, which reads in part like a homophobic attack on Francis and his allies, “speaks for itself” and that he wouldn’t comment on it.

Francis was asked by a U.S. reporter during an airborne press conference Sunday if Vigano’s claims that the two discussed the McCarrick allegations in 2013 were true. Francis was also asked about Vigano’s claims that McCarrick was already under sanction at the time, but that Francis rehabilitated him.

Francis said he had read Vigano’s document and trusted journalists to judge for themselves.

“It’s an act of trust,” he said. “I won’t say a word about it.”

The National Catholic Register and another conservative site, LifeSiteNews, published Vigano’s text Sunday as the pope wrapped up a two-day visit to Ireland dominated by the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Vigano, 77, a conservative whose hardline anti-gay views are well known, urged the reformist pope to resign over what he called Francis’ own culpability in covering up McCarrick’s crimes.

Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation as cardinal last month, after a U.S. church investigation determined that an accusation he had sexually abused a minor was credible.

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