According to a news post in The Tablet, the Vatican is preparing to issue a response to Vatican nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò's explosive dossier of allegations that Pope Francis covered up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of priests and seminarians:
A statement released by the Pope’s council of nine cardinals said it was “aware that in the current debate” of recent weeks the Holy See is about to issue “necessary clarifications”.
Remnant Comment: As exciting as this news is, we the members of the Catholic press wish to confirm that, acting on the Holy Father’s own advice to us on the back of his airplane, we have indeed “read the document carefully and judged it for ourselves.” He needn't, therefore, "say one word" about it.
More episcopal support for Viganò, this time from Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, Bishop of Grand Rapids. In a letter to his faithful dated September 10, 2018, he states:
“The 11-page testimony released by Archbishop Viganò needs to be investigated to the fullest extent. We need to arrive at the truth. Only a thorough investigation will determine whether the claims made by the Archbishop are true. If they are true, action needs to be taken promptly to fix these failures.”
And as the Vigano momentum grows, more of the ugly truth about Papa Bergoglio himself comes out:
Debris continues to fall from the two-week-old Viganò eruption, and the Vatican is still taking direct hits.
In a letter dated September 6, 2018, to the members of Legatus—an influential organization of business owners and CEOs—founder Thomas Monaghan of Domino’s Pizza fame, publicized the association’s decision to withhold its annual tithe to the Holy See:
“We have also had discussions regarding our (Legatus’) annual tithe to the Holy See, pertaining to how it is being used, and what financial accountability exists within the Vatican for such charitable contributions. The board has begun in dialogue long these lines, and in the meantime has decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination (by the Board). Please certainly pledge our continued devotion to Holy Mother Church, and recognize the tithe has been an important commitment of Legatus since our founding. However, in light of recent revelations and questions, he believe it appropriate to respectfully request clarification regarding the specific use of these funds.” [See full letter below.]
Legatus is under the spiritual direction of Cardinal DiNardo, who said last week that the questions raised by Viganò’s Testimony “deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence."
National Catholic Register’s description of Legatus hints at why this is a big deal:
“Members must be Catholics in good standing and an owner, chairman, president or CEO of a business with a minimum of $6.5 million annual revenue and at least 49 employees, or, for a financial service company, with at least 10 employees and $275 million in assets under management. Membership grows through word of mouth, and the only advertisement is with bishops, who must give permission for a chapter to form in their diocese.”
But what about Ave Maria University? How disappointing it must be for AVU founder, Tom Monaghan, to see his dream in the hands of a lifelong Democrat who has joined the shoot-the-messenger crowd down in Naples. A Democrat? Apparently so, if we’re to take President Jim Towey’s own word for it.
By the way, an article in today’s Naples Daily News not only cites The Remnant’s opposition to President Towey’s decision to provide cover for Francis, but also provides the latest update on a growing list of AMU alumni who are not standing for it:
Ave Maria University President Jim Towey’s statement in support of Pope Francis has prompted a swift backlash from several members of the Catholic community, including a group of nearly 70 alumni who signed an open letter asking he make a formal retraction. Towey has since amended his original statement and wrote a follow-up letter apologizing for some of his words, but he maintained his support of Pope Francis…A priest identified as Father John Paul Echert wrote a letter published in The Remnant, a Catholic newspaper, that said he was “utterly astonished and appalled” by Towey’s words.
Hats off to Mr. Monaghan and his Legatus organization for a courageous decision to help defund the Vatican, at least until Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s credible accusations against Pope Francis have been thoroughly investigated and steps taken to reform and restore a Catholic hierarchy in obvious moral and spiritual chaos.
Chilling news just in from Roman Correspondent, Roberto de Mattei: Archbishop Viganò may be sanctioned for telling the truth:
Pope Francis is examining this possibility - if it is true, as several sources confirm - that he has consulted Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmiero, and some other canon-lawyer, to study the possibility of canonical sanctions to inflict on the Archbishop, commencing with sospensione a divinis. If this news is confirmed it would be of extreme gravity, and somewhat surreal, seeing as the “expert” summoned to sanction Monsignor Viganò would be precisely Cardinal Coccopalmiero, who is being accused by the former-Nuncio of the United States, of being part of the “homosexual lobby” lording over the Vatican. It cannot be forgotten in any case, that the Cardinal’s Secretary, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, is involved in a case of homosexual orgy, in which the position of his superior has still to be clarified.
… But then, here is the contradiction: the laws of the Church are being invoked to strike, not immoral clergy, but the one who is denouncing the immorality of the clergy - Monsignor Carlo Maria Viganò, who in his Testimony did nothing other than follow the lines of the Church reformers, from St. Peter Damian to St. Bernardino of Siena, the great scourgers of sodomy.
This is all getting just a wee bit too perfect, isn’t it?
I mean, if you're a hater of the Catholic Church, SNL couldn’t spoof it harder than this. And, quite honestly, the boys in the Vatican can't be this stupid.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, in a word-vomitous effort to rationalize the Pope’s guilt-ridden silence in the face of the Viganò Testimony, made the hilarious blunder of insisting that “talking about the environment” is of greater import than the “rabbit hole” of sex abuse scandal.
In case anyone missed it, we've highlighted the absurdity here:
At least the Archbishop of Philadelphia gets it: Precisely now—as the scandal of the century explodes in the faces of the Pope and his posse—is not a great time to hold a synod of bishops which focuses on the youth… the irony isn’t even funny; it’s downright gross. Is anyone still handing the Pope babies to kiss these days?
As reported by LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Chaput stated what should be patently obvious: “The bishops would have absolutely no credibility.” Chaput used this reasoning in a letter to Pope Francis in which he called on his superior to cancel the synod and instead spend the resources on a type of retraining program for bishops.
Yes, it’s not the youth who need the most help right now, it’s the bishops. They’ve veered so far off course that a synod is now required which reminds them of their own sworn duties before God and His children.
And, thank God, a few good prelates would probably agree with him.
Ten bishops and counting have given public support in the last week to Archbishop Viganò’s character and to the credibility of his testimony:
- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, PA, vouched for the former Nuncio's character, saying he "found his service to be marked by integrity to the church."
- Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, IL, said, “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.”
- Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, CO, cited Cardinal DiNardo in a statement which included: “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.”
- Cardinal DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB)
- Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, TX, has gone so far as to order all the priests in his diocese to read from the pulpit a statement that he finds Viganò’s allegations credible.
- Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, CA, in an open letter to his faithful, “can attest that [Archbishop Viganò] is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him.”
- Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, AZ, issued a statement affirming that he has known Viganò for 39 years, has “always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity” and that his testimony should “be taken seriously by all…”
- Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, MI, issued a statement calling Viganò’s account “another daunting challenge to our confidence in the reliability of the Church’s leadership, during a summer of devastating news regarding clergy sexual abuse and infidelity.” (The statement has since apparently been scrubbed from the diocesan website.)
- Bishop Athanasius Schneider declares: “Archbishop Viganò confirmed his statement by a sacred oath invoking the name of God. There is, therefore, no reasonable and plausible cause to doubt the truth content of the document of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.”
- Cardinal Raymond Burke’s statement declares: “The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church.”
The Remnant established the #StopTheSynod2018 some weeks ago more as a provocation than anything. But now that even prominent archbishops are also calling on the Vatican to do the right thing and knock it off, momentum for this effort is sure to increase.
So let's go here! Please, sign the petition below, send it to your friends and family, post the link on your Facebook page---and let's send a clear message to the Vatican: Stay away from the kids!
BIG NEWS: Christopher Ferrara covers Archbishop Viganò's Testimony and the Pope's "response".
Preview Our Latest Print Edition HERE
Michael Matt's Editorial: A Watergate Moment for Francis
Jason Morgan's idea: How to End the Bergoglian Reign of Error
Vincent Chiarello's book review: To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism by Ross Douthat
Father Celatus's "The Last Word...": PAPAL IMMUNITY: Is Francis Too Humble to Fall?
Yet another prelate has risen up to defend Archbishop Viganò—the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco. Good, holy priests and bishops remain, and this letter is another example of how faithful sons of the Church should react to the current climate of scandal and heartbreak:
The Archdiocese of San Francisco
Office of the Archbishop
1 Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA
August 29, 2018
Dear Faithful of the Archdiocese,
Last Sunday witnessed what many are calling a “bombshell” in the Church: the publication of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s “Testimony,” alleging corruption and coverup at all levels of the Church based on his long and extensive personal knowledge.
I came to know Archbishop Viganò well during the years he served as Apostolic Nuncio here in the United States. I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to “strengthen his brothers in the faith,” and who would do so at great personal sacrifice and with absolutely no consideration given to furthering his “career” – all of which speaks to his integrity and sincere love of the Church. Moreover, while having no privileged information about the Archbishop McCarrick situation, from information I do have about a very few of the other statements Archbishop Viganò makes, I can confirm that they are true. His statements, therefore, must be taken seriously. To dismiss them lightly would continue a culture of denial and obfuscation. Of course, to validate his statements in detail a formal investigation will have to be conducted, one that is thorough and objective. I am therefore grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for recognizing the merit of finding answers that are “conclusive and based on evidence,” and I join my voice to that of other bishops in calling for such an investigation and for taking any corrective action that may be necessary in light of its findings.
Archbishops Viganò and Cordileone
I was named a bishop on July 5, 2002, three weeks after the USCCB meeting in Dallas that approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and still at the height of the drama of revelations of sex abuse of minors by clergy.
At that time, I was asked to conduct a prayer service at the conclusion of a conference on family life hosted by the diocese that attracted participants from around the world. I met there an Australian priest with whom I was acquainted during our years of study in Rome, and he congratulated me on my appointment. I replied, “Thank you, but this is not a good time to become a bishop.” I will never forget his response to me: “But it is a good time to be a great bishop.”
What he said to me then can be said to every Catholic at this time. The Church is in need of purification. Purification is always painful. My dear victims: you know this more than anyone; please know of our prayers and love for you, and that we continue to be here for you, to support you and help you to heal with the resources we have available.
I believe God is beginning this painful process of purification for us now, but for it to work, we must cooperate. God has always raised up great saints in similar times of turmoil in the Church. I call on all of us to rededicate ourselves to prayer, penance and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so that God will bless us with this grace.
Please know of my gratitude to you all: to you our priests, who remain close by your people, lending them support and pastoral care in this time of crisis; to you our deacons, who assist priests in this responsibility and bring the Gospel to those for whom it would otherwise be inaccessible; to you our victims assistance coordinators and to all who support victims on the painful path toward healing; to the faculty and administration of St. Patrick’s Seminary for your hard work in providing deep and healthy formation for our future priests for the renewal of the Church in our corner of the Lord’s vineyard, and to our seminarians for your fervor and generosity in responding to the Lord’s call of priestly service; and last but not least, to you, our people, for your prayer, for your love and concern for the Church, which now moves you to demand change that is effective and decisive, and for your support of our priests.
May God grant us all the grace to be the agents of change and purification that He is calling us to be at this time.
Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco
Despite last January's witch hunt by blogger Simcha Fisher, in which she attempted to destroy the reputation of Christendom College and get its longtime president fired, not only has the college endured but it is now thriving as academic year 2018-19 begins:
From Christendom.edu: Over orientation weekend, Christendom welcomed its largest enrollment of 504 students to campus. College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell made the announcement on August 19 during his opening of the academic year address to the student body, challenging them to change the culture, and themselves, during this year.
“If you work hard, if you study hard, if you pray hard, do it with Him, do it in Him, and do it through Him,” said O’Donnell. “If you do that, you will not only be daring to be great, you will truly be great. If we do that, then we will have a great semester together.”
...The student body of 504 includes 168 new students, including transfers, readmitted students, and first-time freshmen. The college exceeded its enrollment goals for the year and grew 3% this year. Additionally, the number of male students attending grew to 49% of the freshman class this year. This year’s freshman class also holds the distinction and honor of having the highest-ever average SAT score: 1300.
...The college also welcomed new staff and faculty to campus over the summer.
REMNANT COMMENT: Anyone with the stomach to revisit Simcha's clickbait controversy can do so HERE. Let it suffice to say, however, that the influence of these insufferable neo-Catholic windbags is evidently a good bit more substantial in their minds than in reality. Sure, they have their little vanity sites and big fan clubs but, at the end of the day, funny cat videos have diehard fans too and, apparently, considerably more influence. Keep that day job, Simcha!
Way to go, Christendom College. Go Crusaders!
In yet another stunning example of the fact that merely offering the Traditional Latin Mass does not make Traditionalists out of neo-Catholics, Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, has joined the effort to "shoot the messenger" who's making credible accusations of sexual abuse and cover-ups against Catholic prelates.
Apparently “unqualified fidelity to the Church” means “blind cult attitude, and proud!” to Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University. Here's what he said yesterday:
Statement by President Jim Towey Regarding The Rift Within The Church
August 29, 2018
There is nothing new about the rift between Pope Francis and some conservative members of the Church hierarchy. The battle lines seemed to have formed five years ago shortly after the Pope ascended to the chair of Saint Peter. In 2013 in his first major publication, The Joy of the Gospel, the Pope described confreres who “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style.” Recently he quoted these same words in a letter to the faithful, Rejoice and Be Glad, and described “false prophets who use religion for their own purposes, to promote their own psychological or intellectual theories. God infinitely transcends us; he is full of surprises.”
Yes, God is full of surprises. But the call for the Pope’s resignation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’ is not one of them. Neither is the challenge to the Pope’s authority by Raymond Cardinal Burke, an American prelate who has consistently opposed the direction Pope Francis has led the Church on certain matters (and may still be smarting from the Holy Father’s decision to remove him from his prominent position as head of the Holy See’s highest ecclesiastical court). The release of the Archbishop’s manifesto seemed timed to inflict the maximum damage possible to the Pope’s credibility, and the choreographed chorus of support by others in league with them, was just as troubling.
Contrary to the popular narrative, most conservative Catholics are not following suit and embracing their defiance, and certainly not on our campus. Ave Maria University is rightly known for our unqualified fidelity to the Church. We do this not because we are conservative (we are) but because this is the requirement of discipleship. This explains why our students love Pope Francis and support him wholeheartedly. He is the successor to Peter and our spiritual father. He bears the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Conservative Catholics may legitimately disagree with Pope Francis’ take on everything from the environment and capitalism, to marriage and family. Such dissent is healthy for the Church when properly channeled and respectfully communicated. But when Church dissent becomes openly hostile and rebellious, and some members of the hierarchy assert their opinions as if they were elected pope instead of Francis, faithful Catholics like our students will rally to the Supreme Pontiff’s defense.
Pope Francis has admitted that he failed in his own response to the clergy sex abuse scandal and its cover-up. We forgive him. He wasn’t the only one to be charmed by now-disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; Saints John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta also knew Cardinal McCarrick personally and were deceived by him, too.
At a time when the Church is roiled by scandal occasioned by so many within the hierarchy who failed us, personal attacks against the Vicar of Christ and calls for his resignation are wildly divisive and patently wrong. Those so-called conservative Catholics who now challenge the Holy Father’s legitimate authority and openly undermine his papacy, are betraying their own principles and hurting the Church they profess to love. They should stop now.
REMNANT COMMENT: Now, let me get this straight: A credible accusation of sexual abuse, predatory behavior and ecclesial cover-up, leveled by a former nuncio of the Holy See, is -- according to the president of this upstart university -- nothing more than a "personal attack" which is "wildly divisive" and "patently wrong”. One wonders how many more kids and seminarians will have to be sexually assaulted before President Towey takes this seriously.
This is a surprising statement coming from Ave Maria since, as everyone knows, many of these little Catholic schools are already under the gun for allegedly not doing enough to protect their students from sexual predators on campus. Up until this point, I had considered those charges unfounded. Now I’m not so sure, at least in the case of Ave Maria.
After all, Archbishop Vigano has put his entire career on the line and is now in hiding, fearful for his life--such was the urgency and seriousness of his attempt to expose a massive coverup for sexual predators. Now why would he do that if there isn't at the very least a strong possibility that his accusations are well founded and based on facts?
In any case, that the president of a tiny university in South Florida would take it upon himself to dismiss such credible charges of sexual abuse leveled, not by some anti-Catholic hack but by a Vatican nuncio -- taken seriously by everyone from EWTN to Fox News to even the New York Times-- is as arrogant as it is dangerous.
Pardon me, President Towey, but who exactly do you think you are! What about the victims? Is your university somehow up to the task of launching an investigation of Archbishop Vigano's charges to make absolutely certain he’s not, in fact, telling the truth? Has your investigation already taken place? What evidence can you provide to support your contention that Archbishop Vigano's efforts to protect victims of sexual abuse are "wild and wrong"?
If you have no evidence, then by what authority do you make such reckless dismissals of a highly-respected Archbishop’s accusations—accusations, by the way, which the Church's own statutes insist must be considered "credible", given the rank and reputation of the accuser.
And if you succeed in silencing this messenger, then what? We'll never know the truth. So if Francis is innocent, why not call for a full investigation of these charges in order to clear the Holy Father's name? Why are you so afraid of the truth? Why are you trying to cover this up in a classic case of shooting the messenger?
And another thing: After such a pompous display of virtue signaling and total disregard for truth, for the reputations of two princes of the Church and for the suffering of potential victims of sexual abuse, why would any parent consider putting his or her child in Ave Maria University?
In fact, until the President of Ave Maria retracts his statement and publicly apologizes to both Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Vigano, we who have supported Ave Maria enthusiastically in the past will cease to endorse AMU as one of the Catholic options for higher learning such as Christendom College, Franciscan University, Thomas Aquinas College, Wyoming Catholic, etc.
Ave Maria is out, and we call on the Newman Guide to remove this university from its list until it establishes a reputation for greater concern for the victims of sexual abuse.
Zero tolerance, President Towey. Remember? Either apologize or resign!
Since posting this article, I note that the Cardinal Newman Society on Twitter has done the right thing regarding Ave Maria University. Here is their tweet: