Washington, DC, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said Tuesday he hopes to see a full “forensic investigation” into the case of Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, who has been accused of serial homosexual predation.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Rossi’s home diocese of Scranton, PA, has opened a formal inquiry into allegations against the priest that date back to at least 2013, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported Wednesday.
“Bishop Joseph Bambera, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, has commenced the process of launching a full forensic investigation into the concerns that have been raised,” regarding Msgr. Walter Rossi, the diocese said in a statement. The Scranton diocese will work “jointly and cooperatively” with the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, in its “comprehensive investigation.”
“Approximately one year ago, concerns were raised in the public sector regarding Monsignor Walter Rossi, a priest who was incardinated in the Diocese of Scranton but who has served more than 20 years at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,” the diocese said.
“The Diocese of Scranton referred those initial concerns to the Archdiocese of Washington, which investigated certain specific allegations and determined them to be unfounded,” the statement said. “Additional concerns have now surfaced, however, requiring a broadened investigation.”
“Bishop Bambera has spoken with Archbishop Wilton Gregory and they have agreed that the Diocese of Scranton and Archdiocese of Washington will work jointly and cooperatively on undertaking a comprehensive investigation,” the statement said.
As Breitbart News reported in June, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, said that during his tenure in Washington (2011-2016), he received multiple complaints of homosexual harassment and predation against Msgr. Rossi and that the monsignor is “without a doubt a member of the ‘gay mafia.’”
The archbishop made these allegations in an interview with veteran Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti.
“I can say that, while I was nuncio in the United States, I received documentation stating that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America,” Vigano said. “The Vatican, especially Cardinal Parolin, is well aware of Msgr. Rossi’s situation as is Cardinal Wuerl.”
Vigano’s allegations match historic accusations against Msgr. Rossi to which he has never publicly responded.
According to a 2018 report in the American Spectator, Catholic University alumni have stated that Rossi would proposition them. “He insinuated that he would be up for a threesome,” said one CUA graduate, who had a gay roommate with whom Rossi was familiar. “It was gay sexual harassment.”
Despite these accusations, Rossi was put forward as a candidate to be made a bishop, Archbishop Vigano said, in a textbook case of homoclericalism or what Viganò calls “the gay mafia.” Rossi was reportedly a protégé of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who personally appointed Rossi as rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 2005.
“Finally, I can testify that Rossi’s name was proposed for promotion to bishop to my predecessor, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who blocked the process. These facts clearly show how the ‘gay mafia’ operates,” Viganò said.
Archbishop Viganò told the Washington Post in June that homosexuality among the clergy and bishops is at the core of the Church’s current crisis. Vigano said that “the ‘gay mafia’ among bishops is bound together not by shared sexual intimacy but by a shared interest in protecting and advancing one another professionally and sabotaging all efforts at reform.”
“It is not pedophiles but gay priests preying on post-pubertal boys who have bankrupted the U.S. dioceses,” he said, citing groundbreaking research showing that the portion of homosexual men admitted to the priesthood rose from “twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.”
Because of this “overwhelming evidence,” Viganò said he finds it “mindboggling” that homosexuality has not been addressed in recent Church documents and meetings, including the February 2019 Vatican summit on sexual abuse.
“Why does the word ‘homosexuality’ never appear in recent official documents of the Holy See?” asked Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò at a February symposium.
“This is by no means to suggest that most of those with a homosexual inclination are abusers, but the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of abuse has been inflicted on post-pubescent boys by homosexual clerics,” he said.