Crime, Faith, Living

The Fisherman’s Other Shoe Just Dropped

God, come to our assistance
O, Lord, make haste to help us

Pope Francis ignored evidence of crimes and overturned punishment imposed by Pope Benedict on the wicked and disgraced Cardinal McCarrick. That’s according to a former papal nuncio and corroborated by a former first counselor to the nunciature to the United States speaking on the record. The two men have direct knowledge of the matter.

Pope Francis refused to comment on the allegations that he personally covered up McCarrick’s crimes. The pope has refused to admit or deny the allegations for a week. The reasonable time for an innocent man to formulate an honest reply to the accusations has long expired.

In an 11-page letter by former US Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Pope Francis is accused of ignoring warnings about McCarrick personally delivered to the pope by Viganò, restoring the carnally criminal cardinal to full duties.

Later, Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counselor at the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C., confirmed Viganò’s letter and its disturbing contents.

“Viganò said the truth.”

—Monsignor Jean-François Lantheume

If Viganò’s letter is accurate, if Pope Francis covered for McCarrick, Francis must resign today. Not tomorrow. Not after a full investigation. Not after a week of meaningless apologies and admissions of mistakes being made. Now.

Investigators will tell you that people wrongfully accused almost always furiously deny the allegation. Guilty people deflect. What did the accused Pope Francis say? Via the National Catholic Register:

“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 answered. “I will not say a single word on this.”

I’ll let you decide whether Francis sounds innocent or guilty.

The good news if this is all true: maybe the resignation of a pope over this sordid and disgusting church scandal will finally inspire the entire hierarchy to throw their guilty criminals in cassocks into the sunlight. Then we can rebuild and heal.

I realize I walk a fine line here. But if the pope covered up crimes his authority as the successor to the Seat of Peter has no bearing on this matter. He is just an accessory after the fact. Any attempt by the church to use its Magisterium power or our duty of obedience to silence the laity is yet another sin on top of so many of its egregious sins. No Catholic has a duty to remain silent while the church hierarchy covers up their own crimes or those of their peers or subordinates.  This is not a matter of the church defying the Nazis or standing against some unjust law. This is child molestation run amock and implicitly condoned by bishops, cardinals, and popes.

As expressed on Church Militant:

The homosexual clerical sex abuse scandal and resulting cover-up is not theological at its foundation, but moral.

And in this arena, the laity are absolutely duty-bound to speak up, for while we may not all be theologians, each one of us is a moral being and will be judged by Our Blessed Lord on how faithfully we have lived in accord with that objective morality.

By their nefarious actions and cowardly behavior, the church hierarchy has brought every innocent priest under a cloud of suspicion. Sin compounded by more sin compounded by scandal atop the most heinous of crimes committed by the very men we were raised to trust the most. There is no way to exaggerate the monstrosity of this evil.

I know too many good priests, innocent of any involvement in these sordid crimes, priests who’ve sent their fellow priests to prison for such disgusting behavior. These innocent men don’t deserve the suspicion that all Catholics are currently under. The only way to clear the innocent is to expose, prosecute, and permanently isolate the guilty. I write this with no fear of error or scandal.

Therefore, I call on Pope Francis to vigorously deny Archbishop Vigano’s accusations, offering evidence of his innocence, or resign immediately. And I call on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to confirm or deny the portions of Archbishop Vigano’s testimony that Benedict alone knows to be true or false. Finally, I ask that every Christian, Catholic or not, pray for the good innocent priests who are unfairly under suspicion because of this sordid affair and the cowardice of their bosses going all the way to Popes Francis and Benedict. May the Holy Spirit lavish them all with wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

It’s time for the Church to clean house, to bleach its many stains, and to send the perpetrators and their protectors to permanent exile in a monastery for penance where their only potential victims are each other.

When it comes to the guilty in this case, I believe in redemption, but not within 500 feet of a playground, school, or seminary.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.