Dr. De Mattei’s Vigano Theory: What is this really about?

June 22, 2021 (Steven O’Reilly) –  Yesterday, Dr. Roberto De Mattei in Corrispondenza Romana authored an article entitled The Viganò Case: The Archbishop and His Double. The article advanced the theory that Archbishop Viganó may not have authored some of the recent texts published under his name. That is, Dr. Mattei suggests the possibility that perhaps some of these articles may been ghost written by one or more others, and Viganó’s name was only affixed to the documents by Viganó.

The reader can see the original article above for Dr. De Mattei’s case.  De Mattei in the end concludes his article saying: 

“The question we pose is therefore this: analysis of the language and content of the documents produced by Archbishop Viganò during the years 2020-2021 reveals an author different from that of the years 2018-2019. But if Archbishop Viganò is not the author of his writings, who now is filling in his words, and perhaps even his thoughts?

We would never have opened the case if so many good traditionalists were not presenting as a quasi-magisterium the statements, not of Archbishop Viganò, but of his “double.” A clarification is necessary for the good of the Church and of souls who have in Archbishop Viganò a point of reference, but also for the sake of the prelate who has served the Church so well and could continue to serve it. (Roberto de Mattei)

P.S. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has already been informed in private, by several persons, of the existence of this problem, for more than a year now.”

Now, I have great respect for Dr. De Mattei, and I even reviewed his book on “Filial Resistance to the Pope” (see Dr. Mattei and “Filial Resistance to the Pope”). However, I was greatly disappointed that Dr. De Mattei aired his Viganó theory in public when it is based on such questionable evidence. If De Mattei or others have disagreements with what Archbishop Viganó says in his letters and articles, that is perfectly fine. But then state the basis of your disagreement, and then provide your counterarguments, etc.  Instead, Archbishop Viganó’s authorship and credibility have been unnecessarily called into question on flimsy grounds.  

Now, quickly comes the word that Archbishop Viganó denies Dr. De Mattei’s accusation.  Gloria TV reports on Viganó’s response:

“There is no ghost writer,” Viganò insists, “By the grace of God I am still in full possession of my faculties, I am not manipulated by anyone and I am absolutely determined to continue my apostolic mission for the salvation of souls.”

Viganò confirms that “all my writings, statements and interviews are the result of a maturation of convictions of which I proudly claim full authorship,” calling De Mattei’s allegations “totally unfounded,” “bold” and “fanciful.”

(Source: Gloria TV.  “De Mattei Attacks: Viganò Turns the Table Around“, June 22, 2021.) [NB: Since publishing my article here on the subject, I have since found Archbishop’s Vigano’s full response, dated June 22, on LifeSiteNews.  See Abp. Viganò: About some declarations of Professor Roberto de Mattei which recently appeared at ‘Corrispondenza Romana’]

It is not clear what Dr. De Mattei hoped would be gained by voicing his theory in public other than to undermine Viganó’s credibility.  But how does that help the ‘resistance’?  

So what to make of this? 

I don’t know for sure.  I have no inside information. Looking in from the outside, De Mattei’s article ultimately reflects a divide within the ‘resistance’ in Rome. That is, some in the ‘resistance’ — perhaps the likes of Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider among them, and with whom Dr. Mattei is very likely in contact — are simply uncomfortable with Archbishop Viganó’s more visible and vocal approach, and the content of his message. Theories of authorship aside, that is fundamentally what this is all about. That the disagreement over content and tone of Viganó’s message had to descend into questions of authorship is unfortunate. Again, if you have a disagreement over content, argue that point.

Once, there was one issue (i.e., Amoris Laetitia and the Dubia) that called for a possible “formal correction” but since then, there are a seeming dozen more (e.g., Abu Dhabi statement, Pachamama, the Scalfari Interviews). While recognizing options are limited, it is unfortunate that after so many years the few ‘resistance’ prelates there seemingly are haven’t by now developed a more coordinated strategy, message, and response to what is going on in the Church and the hierarchy. Then, again, maybe we have been expecting far too much from them all along.

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com  or StevenOReilly@ProtonMail.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on Parler or Gab: @StevenOReilly).

24 thoughts on “Dr. De Mattei’s Vigano Theory: What is this really about?

  1. Since the Pachamama Ritual in St. Peter’s was not enough for the Cardinals to publicly decry the affront to the Triune God; we are indeed expecting too much from them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Mr. O’Reilly. This is very strange. Here we have an excellent professional historian who weighed-in on the wisdom, or lack thereof of taking the jab but he is not an epidemeologist or a theologian so the criticism directed at Vigano and his lack of expertise in particular areas would also apply to him.

    There is an incredible lack of masculine virtue in the Catholic Hierarchy and it does not help anything or anyone to have this catty controversy publicly expressed by Prof Mattei.

    One can speculate that the Professor is acting in concert with others who want to just kick this commie can down the road and wait for a new pope but for Lord’s Sake, Bergoglio has already in place more than 50% of the next Conclave voters because he created them Cardinals in several consistories.

    Men tend to forget that Pope Paul VI forced member on the Hierarchy to retire at age 70 and he replaced them with men he thought would succor the continuation of the revolution and Paul VI is the model for Bergoglio.

    The Cardinals could declare Bergoglio has committed x numerous of heresies – he has – identify them and stay that his actions have already placed him outside of the Church,that he is not Pope and they are simply declaring the fact.

    They could then call for a new conclave but the idea of this happening obviously terrifies them so they will continue to kick the can down the road and hope that Bergoglio just goes away.

    In other words, they will let him continue to destroy the Church.

    Thanks Cardinals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a time in history. Will the world continue on so that in 500 years someone will be around to talk about it? It is hard to imagine this is just another era, to be lost in the annals of time. The church is divided. There is no one willing to call a schism, but of course there is one. We have nice correlates to political factions, conservative vs liberal, otherwise known as the faithful vs progressives (heretics, generally). Cardinals are not willing to identify the heresies, apostasy, or the schism, and neither are most bishops. Now we see Francis has lost patience, he is coming for Summorum Pontificum. His gall bladder acts up when he realizes the faithful still have their rite, this disturbs him, he must stop it, or at least, make them realize the gift he is giving them and be grateful.
    They don’t realize the faithful have probably had it. We consider ourselves average, faithful Catholics. We’re done. The SSPX is going to probably be the recipient of many new members, should this go any further. Abp. Vigano is speaking to the many, many faithful Catholics who are tired of being abused by Francis and the church. God must have provided him. His voice is recognized. The voice of Francis is not recognized. God save the church.


  4. Sorry, my point was that we see people who don’t seem to get what is going on, despite deep knowledge of Rome and the faith. How anybody like the professor can question Abp. Vigano is a mystery. It remains completely confounding as to how anyone calling themselves Catholic could ignore or condone what happens in Rome and throughout the church, how they could still call this “Catholicism”. Thank you Steven.


  5. “What to make of this?”, you ask.

    Arbp Viganó says it best: “… De Mattei’s theory must be “the result of some advisor” and was “composed by a grey official regime obedient to the mainstream narrative, and not by the sharp mind and genuine faith of the de Mattei I knew.”

    The “grey regime” – what a perfect description of this corrupt ruling junta. And to hold power, they must increasingly turn to bizarre extreme measures and accusations against enemies as their initial claims to power crumble in its obvious illegitimacy, faithlessness and fraud.

    Arbp Viganó is consistent and solid. His enemies (in reality – Christ’s enemies, in whose name Viganó speaks) are off the rails in crazy town.


    1. Aqua, thanks for the comment.

      As I said, De Mattei’s theory should never have gone public. If he had a sincere doubt, this all could have been handled behind the scenes with some emails back and forth. De Mattei hints this might have happened; but it doesn’t explain what response he received and why he proceeded despite that response.

      Vigano’s denial is absolute and unequivocal. So, it’s De Mattei’s credibility on the line at this point. All unfortunate.

      Thanks for the reply.



  6. I have not expected anything from Cd. Burke since, speaking about the “Filial Correction” (that never came), he said that it “must be done with the utmost tact and delicacy.” Dealing with monsters does not call for “the utmost tact and delicacy.”


    1. Thanks for the comment, Arthur.

      Yes, if anyone once expected anything from Cardinal Burke in regard to following through on a ‘formal correction’ he had spoken of, those expectations were dashed to pieces long ago.




  7. Dear Mr. O’Reilly. On a happier (because true) note, today’s Canonical Hour of Prima is about Joe Biden, nominal Catholic.

    Biden, who is an adulterer and the most pro-abortion POTUS in history nevertheless receives Holy Communion as he openly challenges the Bishops to discipline him using Canon Law.

    1] Unto the end, understanding for David, [2] When Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul David went to the house of Achimelech. [1 Kings 22] [3]

    Why dost thou glory in malice, thou that art mighty in iniquity? [4] All the day long thy tongue hath devised injustice: as a sharp razor, thou hast wrought deceit. [5] Thou hast loved malice more than goodness: and iniquity rather than to speak righteousness.

    [6] Thou hast loved all the words of ruin, O deceitful tongue. [7] Therefore will God destroy thee for ever: he will pluck thee out, and remove thee from thy dwelling place: and thy root out of the land of the living. [8] The just shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, and say: [9] Behold the man that made not God his helper: But trusted in the abundance of his riches: and prevailed in his vanity. [10] But I, as a fruitful olive tree in the house of God, have hoped in the mercy of God for ever, yea for ever and ever.

    [11] I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name, for it is good in the sight of thy saints.


  8. I agree with you that Dr. De Mattei made a mistake with his concerns by going public instead of contacting Archbishop Vigano privately. I do however also agree with Dr De Mattei implicit concern that all the Covid and 2020 elections statements by Vigano have watered down his 2018 and 2019 statements on the corruption in the Church. I still completely believe the veracity of Vigano’s statements in 2018 and 2019 but unfortunately there are a lot of Catholics who originally believed Vigano’s statements but now think he is a crank and therefore his 2018 and 2019 statements can no longer be relied on which is a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claudio,

      Thanks for the comments.

      I saw this morning that Dr. De Mattei is doubling down (pun intended) on his thesis, even in the face of Vigano’s absolute and unequivocal denial yesterday. Dr. De Mattei seems to have suggested in yesterday’s article that the question in some form was brought to Vigano’s attention in private. What was said to Vigano, and what was his response is not provided — nor for that matter why Dr. De Mattei has gone ahead despite any response he may or may not have received; and now doubled down on it.

      Certainly, anyone’s public positions are fair game for analysis and criticism — that includes you, me, Vigano or whomever. Ideally, positions should stand or fall on the strength of the arguments. I think Dr. De Mattei is muddying the waters.

      I know what you say is the perception of some, i.e., that Vigano’s original McCarrick testimony is somehow overshadowed by questionable pieces on Covid or US politics. However, history moves on, and the parts “we” as individuals play in it, great or small, may evolve. This is true with regard to Vigano as well.

      There is a connection between the crisis in the Church (e.g., McCarrick, the conclave, episcopal inclinations towards globalist policies ) and US politics. Vigano’s position as Nuncio to the US, and his role as a witness for part of the McCarrick controversy put him in a unique position to comment on the US elections. So, for my part, I don’t think he is a crank…but…I can see the argument the other way — so I don’t mean to sound dismissive.

      Re the US elections particularly, I think the battle over good vs. evil continues to be played out in the fight over communion for Biden, and in the election audits, etc. Covid has been used by the left, globally, for various evil ends (including the US elections), not all of which may be clear to us yet. So, Vigano is on to something. As an aside, I was surprised at De Mattei’s position on Covid.

      But…in the end…as more revelations come out (e.g., audit results)…history will be the judge. My guess is, Vigano will be more right than his critics suggest.

      Thanks for the comments.



      1. Steven, I agree. The McCarrick event did not occur spontaneously and in complete isolation between a few people. Many prelates, perhaps even Cdl. Burke, was well aware of the rumors for decades and the probability of truthfulness of them. Yet, they remained silent during his elevation in the United States- even when McCarrick became the spokesman of the USCCB on the abuse crisis! White envelopes stuffed with untraceable cash kept many looking the other way as he promoted his close friends into powerful positions.

        My perception of Archbishop Vigano is that he is a man with a healthy fear of God and thus has a higher level of wisdom than most. That wisdom has set him studying to discern how we in the Church and the world have come to this point of openly embracing contradictions.

        When his research reveals a driver of the disintegration of objectivity in civilization, he points correctly to forces and events that undermined the Churches influence in defending western civilization (of which the Church gave birth). He also highlights the current contradictions of today and their root formations in the past. McCarrick, his enablers, and silent cohorts are a symptom of a much larger and older process reaching its apex now.

        Archbishop Vigano is the only high-ranking prelate acting in genuine medicinal care of the soul. He gives us the diagnosis, cause, contributing factors, prognosis, and possible remedies. As for a few other high-ranking prelates, we get an “apocalyptic” prognosis and an invoice, then shown the door until the next appointment, time permitting.


      2. Matt,

        Thanks for the comments.

        I do wish other prelates, such as Cardinals Burke, Brandmuller, Muller, Eijk, etc., were far more active and vocal than they have been. They also, as I suggested, might consider coordinating some their efforts.

        Thanks again.



      3. “I know what you say is the perception of some, i.e., that Vigano’s original McCarrick testimony is somehow overshadowed by questionable pieces on Covid or US politics.”

        And I have to say, I think that perception is more widely shared even among traditionalists than you might credit. Increasingly, the brave whistleblower against episcopal and papal corruption has been sadly subsumed by +Vigano 2.0, the Trumpist anti-vaxxer End Times kook.

        And the result is, his original witness – and allegations – have become so easy now to dismiss. What is left is a figure useful only for traffic and fundraising for certain figures and outlets, for audiences who have been starved so long of genuine spiritual leadership by their shepherds. It’s a real shame.


  9. First DeMattei encourages us to follow our consciences on the abortion – derived vaccines, then, an attack on Abp Vigano’s writings or no. I think De Mattei might be a shill for the Vatican herretics .


    1. Joe,

      Thanks for the comment. However, I don’t think anything De Mattei has said suggests he’s a “shill” for anyone.

      Intelligent folks with honorable intentions can and do disagree. One should not impute bad motives to explain things — people can just be plain wrong, having sincerely reach a wrong conclusion. It can be that simple,

      Thanks for reading the blog.



  10. To be honest, I’m not sure it really matters if Archbishop Viganò is writing the commentary issued under his name, or if he’s employing a ghostwriter. At the end of the day, he’s endorsing it, for good or ill.

    And I admit I’ve almost completely tuned +Viganò out over the last year. His 2018 J’Accuse was an enormously valuable – and, I thought, honest – indictment of hierarchical corruption. But 2018 seems so long ago now. The more he dives into American politics, and the more he pushes ever more fringe conspiracy theories, the less interesting he becomes to me. It feels more and more like a grift for traddy boomer attention, and certain outlets, alas, seem all too eager to join in on the grift to get the clicks.


  11. Archbishop Vigano is a modern-day prophet, in my opinion. Prophets in the Old Testament often did not do so well., either. Wasn’t Jeremiah thrown down into a well?


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