Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has called for an in-depth investigation into the sex abuse and cover-up of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, following the publication of explosive allegations by the former papal nuncio to the United States.
In a statement Thursday, the archbishop calls on the Holy See “to conduct a thorough investigation that includes granting authority to a lay commission to examine the many questions that surround Archbishop McCarrick, such as who was involved in covering-up his gravely immoral behavior or failed to act to stop it.”
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former nuncio, published an 11-page testimony on August 25, alleging that at least since 2013 Pope Francis knew of the serial homosexual abuse perpetrated by U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, along with sanctions imposed on his ministry by Pope Benedict XVI, and yet lifted those sanctions and promoted McCarrick to a position of influence, consulting him for the naming of future bishops.
Citing Cardinal DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB), Archbishop Aquila said that “the questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.”
“While, this is not the first time in the history of the Church that she has been rocked by a lack of faith and immorality among her clergy,” Aquila states, “only a strong return to Jesus Christ and his ways will heal the horrific sinful breach that has taken place!”
Amidst attempts by establishment media to undermine the credibility of Archbishop Viganò, the author of the “serious allegations,” Aquila states that Viganò is “a man of deep faith and integrity.”
In calling for a full-bore investigation, Archbishop Aquila joins a number of his brother bishops who have made similar appeals.
On Tuesday, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, IL, said that the former nuncio has “revealed a set of facts and circumstances that are deeply troubling as they relate to the awareness, actions, and inactions at the very highest levels of the Church” regarding the serial sexual abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Paprocki also criticized the pope’s refusal to answer questions regarding when he first learned of McCarrick’s misdeeds, suggesting that such silence impedes the process of transparency and accountability in dealing with sex abuse.
“Given the gravity of the content and implications of the former Nuncio’s statement, it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered,” he said.
“Toward that end, Pope Francis, Vatican officials and the current Apostolic Nuncio should make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) McCarrick and provide the accountability that the Holy Father has promised,” he said.
Pope Francis is reportedly “embittered” by the allegations that he knowingly promoted a serial sex-offending cardinal but said he has no plans to retire.
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