Cardinal Ouellet rebuts Archbishop Vigano who demanded Francis resigns

  • Cardinal Ouellet rebuts Archbishop Vigano who demanded Francis resigns

Cardinal Ouellet rebuts Archbishop Vigano who demanded Francis resigns

But Ouellet said the "exhortation" to live a discreet life of prayer stopped short of binding canonical sanctions, precisely because the rumors lacked proof.

Cardinal Ouellet's letter, written with the approval of Pope Francis, was published the day after the Vatican said the pope had ordered a "thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively".

Vigano had issued an 11-page letter where he accused more than 20 Vatican and American church officials of covering up for Carrick.

POPE FRANCIS believes the devil is behind the sexual abuse crisis engulfing the Catholic church and is calling on believers to help fight the power of Satan.

"I conclude, therefore that your accusations are a political frame job devoid of any real foundation", he was quoted as saying by AFP.

He demanded Vigano "come out of hiding and repent" for having falsely accused Francis and questioned how he could continue to celebrate Mass and pray the rosary given his "incomprehensible and gravely reprehensible" attack on Christ's vicar on Earth.

The McCarrick scandal has thrown the US and Vatican hierarchy into turmoil, given that it was apparently an open secret in some USA church circles that he would invite seminarians into his bed. Two men received settlements starting in 2005 from two New Jersey dioceses after they alleged McCarrick sexually molested or harassed them. But it wasn't until previous year that it was informed of an accusation that he had molested a minor - a far more grave canonical crime than merely sleeping with adult seminarians. Another man also claimed that McCarrick had molested him when the man was a teenager.

For the second time in recent weeks, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo met with Pope Francis.

Vigano claims the pope was informed of McCarrick's sexual liaisons with seminarians yet did nothing to punish him and in fact lifted sanctions imposed on the priest. The former Cardinal, who had retired in May 2006, had been strongly advised not to travel and not to appear in public, so as not to provoke additional rumors in his regard.

Ouellet said a review of the files revealed no documents about any sanctions imposed or annulled on McCarrick. In a document in April on holiness in the modern world, Francis mentioned the devil more than a dozen times.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Monday he welcomes the Vatican's announcement of a further investigation into files on disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, praising the Pope's steps to end sexual assault.

Cardinal Ouellett said he had told Archbishop Vigano in person that McCarrick "was supposed to obey certain conditions and restrictions due to the rumours surrounding his past behaviour".

"Since I became Prefect of this Congregation on 30 June 2010, I never brought up the McCarrick case in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Francis until these last days, after his removal from the College of Cardinals".

"On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of October 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault", Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, said.