The former nuncio who says Pope Francis was aware of alleged sexual abuse by former DC archbishop Theodore McCarrick since 2013 and yet covered for him is now lobbing more accusations at the pontiff. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Vatican ambassador to the US, sent a statement to the conservative website LifeSiteNews that was published Friday, the New York Times reports. In it, he recounts what he says happened prior to the pope's controversial 2015 meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who wouldn't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The statement was spurred by a Times article in which Chilean abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz claimed Pope Francis told him Vigano sneaked Davis in for the meeting without the pope being aware of why she was controversial.
"One of them is lying: either Cruz or the pope? What is certain is that the pope knew very well who Davis was, and he and his close collaborators had approved the private audience," Vigano writes in the letter. Vigano's accusations highlight an ideological divide in the Catholic Church, and that divide is mirrored in US bishops, the Wall Street Journal reports. The more liberal bishops, who back the pope's focus on immigration, climate change, and other such issues, are criticizing Vigano while conservative bishops, who disagree with the pontiff's attitudes about such issues as homosexuality, are on Vigano's side. The Atlantic calls the accusations against the pope a "power play" by Vigano, who, the site notes, has had a tense relationship with Pope Francis. The pope has not responded to the allegations. (Read more Catholic Church sex scandals stories.)