ROME — The former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has issued a scathing indictment of Pope Francis, calling him “the head of the most extremist faction of progressivism.”
In an hour-long video message posted to YouTube earlier this week, Archbishop Viganò attacks the pope’s July 16 letter restricting the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, which Viganò calls the “highest and most sacred expression of prayer.”
Francis’s “dual role as pope and liquidator of the Catholic Church allows him on the one hand to demolish it with decrees and acts of governance, and on the other hand to use the prestige that his office entails to establish and spread the new religion over the rubble of the old one,” Viganò declares in his diatribe.
The ways in which Pope Francis “acts against God, against the Church and against the Lord’s flock,” the archbishops asserts, stand in stark contrast to his frequent appeals to “building bridges and not erecting walls.”
Viganò goes on to accuse the pope of a hypocritical double-standard, whereby liberals are given a pass for anything whereas conservatives are punished.
“After years of this pontificate, we have all understood that the reasons given by Bergoglio for declining a meeting with a [conservative] Prelate, a [conservative] politician or a conservative intellectual do not apply to the molester Cardinal, the heretic Bishop, the abortionist politician, or the globalist intellectual,” he states.
“Not only does Bergoglio not condemn the errors of the present time,” Viganò continues, “but he actively seeks to disseminate these errors, to promote them, to encourage their supporters, to spread them to the greatest possible extent and to host events promoting them in the Vatican, simultaneously silencing those who denounce these same errors.”
“We have come to the point that even simple people with little knowledge of doctrinal issues understand that we have a non-Catholic pope, at least in the strict sense of the term,” he asserts.
In his strongly-worded condemnation of the pope’s decision to roll back accommodations to priests who want to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, Archbishop Viganò joins a growing list of high-ranking prelates who have expressed their anger and consternation over the “harsh” measure.
U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, a canon lawyer and the former head of the Vatican’s highest court, expressed his “profound sorrow” over the sweeping restrictions.
Those who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass, “are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline” imposed by Pope Francis in his letter and “offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct,” he stated in a July 22 essay.
The pope’s message to the “devout faithful who have a deep appreciation and attachment” to the Traditional Latin Mass is that “they suffer from an aberration which can be tolerated for a time but must ultimately be eradicated,” Burke declared.
German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office (CDF), similarly criticized Pope Francis for imposing severe restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass while allowing progressives to deny basic tenets of the faith with impunity.
Cardinal Müller wrote that the pope’s move signals the clear intent to “condemn the Extraordinary Form to extinction in the long run.”
In his reflections on the pope’s punishment of conservative peripheries, Müller noted that Francis “ignores the religious feelings of the (often young) participants in the Masses according to the Missal John XXIII” without the “slightest empathy.”
“Instead of appreciating the smell of the sheep, the shepherd here hits them hard with his crook,” Müller stated, in reference to one of the pope’s favourite expressions.
In another response to the pope’s letter, Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, said that the document contains “many tendentious generalizations” that “hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people.”
The pope “considers the very existence of a parallel rite to be an evil,” Zen stated, and clearly wishes “for the death of the [traditional] groups.”
The real problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” Zen insisted, but rather “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?”
Pope Francis cracked down on conservative Catholics on Friday, repealing inclusive measures by his predecessors Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and imposing new restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass https://t.co/akkTNVCytZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2021