All roads lead to Rome – to Francis and Benedict

August 27, 2018 (Steven O’Reilly) – It has not been a couple days since Archbishop Vigano’s testimony (see here) implicating U.S. and Roman prelates – inclusive of Pope Francis – in the cover-up of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of seminarians. As time drags on it becomes all the more certain that the allegations that Pope Francis knew of McCarrick’s history, but ignored them in order to continuing to benefit from McCarrick’s advice and counsel in reshaping the Catholic Church in the U.S. with the odious likes of Cardinals Cupich, Tobin and Bishop McElroy, are true.

It is improbable that Archbishop Vigano would have made the charges he did, referencing official documents and naming individuals privy to relevant conversations and events, if he could be readily contradicted by any of them. One of the Archbishop’s key revelations – that Pope Benedict had placed private penalties circa 2010 upon McCarrick for his homosexual abuse of seminarians was confirmed by Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counsellor at the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C.  (see here).  Yet, knee-jerk Francis defenders still object to the growing evidence in support of Vigano – a sign of their desperation.

Vigano in his testimony states that if Francis had not been previously informed of these accusations against and penalties on McCarrick, he most certainly was personally informed of them by Vigano himself on June 23, 2013 during an impromptu papal audience. There are two individuals who can comment directly on two of the most pertinent issues (but there are more!):

(1) the existence of the aforementioned penalties on McCarrick dating back to at least 2010, and

(2) the subject matter and content of Archbishop Vigano’s June 23rd meeting with Pope Francis in 2013.

These two individuals are: Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  Benedict could confirm or deny there were such penalties on McCarrick, while Francis could confirm or deny his knowledge of these penalties, both before or after June 23, 2013.  However, Francis refuses to answer questions on this matter, slyly telling journalists instead ‘to go do their job and see for themselves’ – when certainly it is clear to all reasonable people that all roads lead to Rome…to Francis in this matter…because only he, aside from Vigano, know the truth about that June 23rd meeting in 2013.

The Pope’s response clearly smacks of a cover-up. There is no other reasonable explanation for his unwillingness to give an answer.  If the allegations were deniable – deny them! Why let Catholics think their Pope covered for a evil man like McCarrick all for the sake of benefiting from his counsel in reshaping (deforming?) the Church?  The truth appears to be that Francis is afraid to respond at this time because he cannot be quite sure yet what documents and witnesses might be produced in support of Vigano which would contradict anything Francis might say at this early point in the crisis.  However, if he were innocent of the allegations, there would be nothing to worry about.

The other witness we must hear from is the Pope Emeritus. Benedict could clarify matters as to whether he placed any private penalties on McCarrick. We are now about 48 hours into this crisis. Has Benedict even been advised of the allegations?  Will Pope Francis make Benedict available to answer questions about Vigano’s assertions? Or, will the Vatican press office only issue a denial of some sort in the name of Benedict – something which would be entirely insufficient and unacceptable.  The faithful need to hear from both Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus on this matter.  For both to remain unavailable, or for both to remain silent would only point to the truth of Archbishop Vigano’s allegations.  If these allegations are true, it is clear that for the good of the Church: Pope Francis should resign immediately.  After reading Vigano’s testimony, it is depressing to consider the following.  How many good cardinals are there left to even confront the Pope on this question?  Or worse…are there any?  There are cardinals Burke, Sarah, Mueller and Brandmuller, and perhaps a few others.  Still, we need bishops around the globe to speak up and demand answers of Pope Francis….and the laity to light a fire beneath them if they are hesitant to do so!

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is married to Margaret O’Reilly.  He lives near Atlanta with his family. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical-adventure trilogy, set during the time of the Arian crisis. He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA).


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