Francis finally breaks silence on accusations he covered up Cardinal’s abuse
Pope Francis has remained relatively silent following the accusations that he was aware of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s homosexual abuse.
The Pontiff was accused of knowing of McCarrick’s abuse while he reinstated him to a position of influence in the Vatican.
But on Tuesday, Francis finally broke his silence to a Mexican reporter Valentina Alazraki in an interview released by Vatican News.
“About McCarrick, I knew nothing, obviously, nothing, nothing,” the pope said.
“But you know that I knew nothing about McCarrick, or I wouldn’t have kept silent, would I?” he asked.
But in August last year, Father Boniface Ramsey claimed he repeatedly warned Catholic church officials about the former Cardinal abuse.
Ramsey told CBS News that he “had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it.”
Ramsey claimed that Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house, despite there being five beds for six people – an arrangement that was strategized for someone to share his bed.
“Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. There were five beds… and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed.”
Also last year, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò alleged that Francis covered for McCarrick, claiming the Pontiff repealed sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the late 2000s.
According to an 11-page report, Viganò called on Francis to resign due to being complicit in child sex abuse.
“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to Cardinals and Bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Viganò wrote.
He claimed Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” before adding “although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end; indeed, he made McCarrick’s advice his own.”
According to a source affiliated with the Institute of the Incarnate Word seminary, Cardinal Donald Wuerl was aware of allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick but continued to assist in his luxury lifestyle.
A further document surfaced on Tuesday from a separate source which confirmed that McCarrick had sanctions placed against him dating back to 2008.
But when journalists confronted Pope Francis about the allegations following the Viganò report, the pope refused to confirm or deny them.
“I read that statement this morning,” he said, about the report.
“I read it, and sincerely I must tell you this, you and all of you who are interested, read the statement carefully and come to your own conclusion. I won’t say a word about this,” he said.
“I believe that the statement speaks for itself and you have the sufficient journalistic ability to draw your own conclusions. This is an act of trust. When some time has passed, and you have come to your conclusions, maybe I will speak,” he said.
But Francis claims he had already answered the question, despite there being no news media reporting on it and no record of him replying.
“I said it several times, that I didn’t know, that I had no idea,” Pope Francis told Alazraki.
The Pope claims he had not answered the question immediately because he wanted to emulate the ‘silence of Jesus during his passion,’ before insisting he placed his trust in journalists to find out what happened.
“And the result was good; it was better than if I had tried to explain or defend myself,” he said.