While Pope Francis is facing down the Catholic Church's abuses in Ireland, a new accusation has sprung up, this time from the Vatican's own former ambassador to the United States: In an 11-page statement the National Catholic Register calls "extraordinary," Carlo Maria Vigano says that Francis knew about the sexual abuse of former DC archbishop Theodore McCarrick as early as "June 23, 2013 and continued to cover him." Vigano says he wrote Francis that McCarrick had "corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance." He says he received no response and McCarrick continued to serve until he was forced out late last month, reports CBS News. What's more, Francis "must acknowledge his mistakes and," according to his own standard of "zero tolerance ... set a good example to Cardinals and Bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them."
Vigano doesn't stop there, blasting as complicit in the McCarrick coverup DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former Pittsburgh bishop who says he knew nothing about widespread abuse there uncovered last month. "His recent statements that he knew nothing about it … are absolutely laughable. The cardinal lies shamelessly," Vigano writes. Wuerl previously suggested that McCarrick, having "been told to stay in seclusion," is paying a "pretty substantial penalty." Vigano isn't having it, writing that "if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths that we have kept hidden." (Read more Theodore McCarrick stories.)