The former secretary to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick just released portions of emails revealing McCarrick’s extensive travel to and negotiations with the Chinese Communist government on behalf of Pope Francis.
These astonishing whistleblower allegations are detailed on a new website titled Figueiredo report. Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, now stationed in Rome, had access to extensive McCarrick emails and correspondence describing the global diplomatic travel by the disgraced Cardinal to China and the Middle East. Throughout the first four years of the Francis papacy, McCarrick communicated extensively and directly with Pope Francis regarding his negotiations with the Chinese.
In a November 24, 2013, letter to Pope Francis, McCarrick states: “I have put off my return trip to China and I will make sure that I speak to Archbishop Parolin (Vatican Secretary of State) before I go the next time … I would hope to have his counsel before I go again to that complex land.”
According to another whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, McCarrick told Vigano that he was being sent to China by Francis in June of 2013.
In a November 21, 2014, email to Msgr. Figueiredo, McCarrick discusses his plans for a China trip. “I leave for China on Thursday November 27, 2014 … I will only be able to stay [in Rome] for the summit of Muslim Christian relations … I am sure that Cardinal Parolin would see me since he is involved with my China Trip.”
The correspondence disclosed by Figueiredo between the retired DC Cardinal McCarrick and Pope Francis primarily centers around McCarrick’s connections and trips to China and the Middle East. In a letter to Pope Francis dated September 30, 2015, following the Pope’s visit to the U.S., McCarrick boasts of his extensive Middle East and Chinese contacts:
When you greeted me so cheerfully in Washington as an adjunct member of the foreign service, I received this as a challenge to continue as an amateur in the very noble work of the foreign relations of the Holy See. I have maintained on a quiet level our relationship with China and have been developing new relationships with the Arab countries of the Middle East. They have been inviting me to many of their meetings where I can continue to assure them of Your Holiness’ interest, concern, and love for our Muslim brothers and sisters … With God’s help, before He calls me home, I will help to bring you China and the great dream of Matteo Ricci will begin to be realized once again.
Six months later, in another letter to Pope Francis on January 20, 2016, McCarrick cryptically raises the subject of China again with the Pope: “I have not been back to China since the fall, but I have received some indication to continue my conversations with some of the leaders of that great country as well.”
In a February email to Msgr. Figueiredo on February 9, 2016, McCarrick indicates that he was invited to return to China by the son of a high-level Communist Party official: “I returned to DC on Tuesday evening and flew to Beijing the Thursday morning … The reason for the China trip was the invitation by the son of a former Communist Party General Secretary who is still very close to [President] Xi [Jinping].”
A month later on March 23, 2016, McCarrick emails Figueiredo with an update of his Rome trip and mentions the importance of the China project. McCarrick writes:
My visit to Rome was so very helpful and it looks as if two projects — China and Islam — continue to move forward slowly. To try to monitor them a bit, I think it would be useful for me to come to the Papal Foundation Board meeting … I would have to leave for some national Muslim meetings back here in the States … I will try to be in contact with Cardinal Turkson and Cardinal Parolin to check on the progress of the planned meeting with the Chinese.
In a January 27, 2017, letter to Pope Francis, McCarrick references some terms and questions that the Chinese government raised during his recent trip to China. The high-level nature of these diplomatic questions requires the security of the Papal Nuncio’s diplomatic pouch: “I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop Pierre [U.S. Papal Nuncio] for his kindness in enclosing this letter in his diplomatic pouch, so that I may give your Holiness some idea of a number of the questions which were brought up during my recent visit to China.”
The fact that Pope Francis repeatedly dispatched the highly disgraced and compromised Cardinal McCarrick as an ad hoc diplomat to China to negotiate terms on behalf of the Holy See raises serious concerns about papal judgment and the integrity of the Vatican’s China Agreement. According to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Pope Francis was told that McCarrick was a notorious sexual predator who preyed on seminarians and that the Vatican had an extensive dossier on McCarrick’s personal corruption. Nevertheless, Francis trusted McCarrick to represent the Holy See in highly sensitive and complex negotiations.
The Vatican has refused to release the extensive Cardinal Theodore McCarrick file in its possession. Pope Francis steadfastly refused to comment about the Vigano allegations that he knew about McCarrick’s sexual predation and that Pope Benedict imposed sanctions on McCarrick, which were secretly lifted by Francis. In fact, he had no comment until last week, when Vatican News released an interview between Francis and a Mexican reporter in which the pope claims he knew “nothing, nothing, nothing.”
The Vatican also refuses to release the specific terms of the Vatican-China deal signed in September 22, 2018, regarding the appointment of bishops. Since the deal was signed, the Catholic and Christian faithful have been under increasing persecution by the Chinese Communist government. The details of that agreement remain secret.
And now we know why.
Elizabeth Yore is the former Special Counsel at Harpo with Oprah Winfrey. She is an international human rights attorney, specializing in child protection; learn more at YoreChildren.com.