Pope says will not respond to allegations of abuse cover-up

Papal visit: Pope Francis travels to Knock Shrine

Papal visit: Pope Francis travels to Knock Shrine

A former Vatican ambassador to the USA has demanded that Pope Francis resign along with other bishops and cardinals for what he says is their complicity in covering up the clerical sex abuse scandal.

He also accused McCarrick's successor as archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of having been aware of the abuse allegations.

"I won't say a word about it", the pope said.

Some who turned out for him in the Irish village of Knock, where a group of locals in 1879 said they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, said Pope Francis should be given time to deal with the abuse issues that have rocked the church for decades.

Vigano, 77, a conservative whose hard-line anti-gay views are well known, has always been seen as a critic of Pope Francis, who is viewed as more moderate. His letter identifies by name the Vatican cardinals and USA archbishops who were informed about the McCarrick affair, an unthinkable expose for a Vatican diplomat to make.

In a detailed 11-page bombshell statement given to conservative Roman Catholic media outlets during the pope's visit to Ireland, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused a long list of current and past Vatican and U.S. Church officials of covering up the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month in disgrace.

Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation as cardinal last month after a US church investigation determined that an accusation he had sexually abused a minor was credible.

McCarrick, 88, has said he had no recollection of alleged abuse of the minor, but has not commented on widespread media reports that he would force adult men studying for the priesthood to sleep with him at a beach house in New Jersey.

Vatican officials yesterday declined immediate comment on the statement, which was published by the National Catholic Register and several other media outlets in the USA and Italy.

Papal visit: Pope Francis travels to Knock Shrine

Vigano apparently sought to answer some of those questions. He said there are documents backing up his version of events in Vatican archives.

"He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator", wrote Vigano", adding that "he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end".

Vigano in the letter claims that he told Francis in 2013 about "a dossier this thick" with information about McCarrick's alleged misconduct toward young members of the church.

In his testimony, Archbishop Viganò claimed that in the late 2000s, Benedict XVI had "imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis" and that Archbishop Viganò personally told Pope Francis about those sanctions in 2013.

Vigano wrote he was surprised to find that McCarrick started traveling on missions on behalf of the church soon thereafter, including to China. McCarrick was also one of the Vatican's intermediaries in the U.S. -Cuba talks in 2014.

The letter also contains a lengthy diatribe about homosexuals in the Catholic church. It often reads like an ideological manifesto, naming all of Francis' known supporters in the USA hierarchy as being complicit in a cover-up of McCarrick's misdeeds.

"I will not say a word about that".

The coverup accusation, which Vigano denied, concerned accusations he tried to quash an investigation into a former archbishop accused of misconduct.

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