Article

Bishops with Chests Testify to Archbishop Viganò’s Credibility

Bishop Joseph Strickland, Tyler, Texas

A letter by Archbishop Vigano, former Nuncio to the United States, raises grave allegations and calls for the resignation of numerous high ranking prelates including Pope Francis.

Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible. Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible. I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that it’s findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church.

As this unfolds I urge all in the Diocese of Tyler to pray fervently for Holy Mother Church and beg the Intercession of Our Blessed Mother. We are the flock of Jesus Christ. He is Lord of His Church and His Holy Spirit will guide us through this darkness.

Almighty God Father, Son and Spirit have mercy on your Church and cleanse her in the fires of your Love.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Pray for us
All Sainted Popes & Bishops in Heaven, Pray for us
All Holy Men and Women, Pray for us

 

Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Phoenix, Arizona

“I have known Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for 39 years. We became colleagues in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See in August 1979, where he had been serving prior to my entrance into this work in service to the ministry of Pope John Paul II.

Although I have no knowledge of the information that he reveals in his written testimony of August 22, 2018 so I cannot personally verify its truthfulness, I have always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity. St. Paul says of priests: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Cor 4:1-2). That is how I have consistently found Archbishop Viganò.

For this reason, I ask that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony be taken seriously by all, and that every claim that he makes be investigated thoroughly. Many innocent people have been seriously harmed by clerics like Archbishop McCarrick; whoever has covered up these shameful acts must be brought to the light of day.”

 

Bishop David Konderla, Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma

On Sunday, August 26, 2018, the Most. Rev. David A. Konderla, Bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma, commented on his personal Facebook page concerning the eleven-page testimony given by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. The full statement, which included a link to the testimony, follows:

I count myself blessed that it was Archbishop Viganò who called me to tell me that I was appointed fourth bishop of Tulsa. The allegations he details mark a good place to begin the investigations that must happen in order for us to restore holiness and accountability to the leadership of the Church.

Now is the time for us to re-double our prayers for the church and for the victims of these crimes.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

 

Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Detroit, Michigan

“The statement of Archbishop Viganò, the former Vatican Ambassador to the United States, is 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. In the midst of this hour of difficulty, I offer two words of counsel – one about truth, the other about hope.

“About truth: The Lord assures us that “the truth will set us free” (Jn 8:32). We have nothing to fear in facing squarely the allegations made by Archbishop Viganò. I join with the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Detroit in praying for the triumph of truth and transparency – and praying that it comes quickly. Whether the Archbishop’s claims are confirmed or proved to be unfounded, the truth which comes to light will show us the sure path to the purification and reform of the Church.

“About hope: On ascending to the Father, Jesus pledged that he would be with us always, until the end of the age (cf. Mt 28:20). Christ has not abandoned us in this time of crisis. By his rising, he is Lord of all history. And in these trials, he seeks to restore the vitality of his Church. We must respond with abandonment to his designs, to identify the grace he offers us in this moment and to accept it willingly regardless of the cost. If we respond with hope, the Lord will take us to a new place from which we can go forth to unleash the Gospel with new power and new strength.

“In the end, we are servants of Christ. We trust in him. He will strengthen us and transform our weakness into power to advance his Kingdom and the salvation of souls. Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.”

 

Cardinal Raymond Burke

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,” said Burke. “Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.

After the truth of each declaration has been established, then the appropriate sanctions must be applied both for the healing of the horrible wounds inflicted upon the Church and her members, and for the reparation of the grave scandal caused.

 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan

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.

 

Bishop Robert Morlino, Madison, Wisconsin

Having renewed my expression of respect and filial affection for the Holy Father, I must add that during his tenure as our Apostolic Nuncio, I came to know Archbishop Viganò both professionally and personally, and I remain deeply convinced of his honesty, loyalty to and love for the Church, and impeccable integrity. In fact, Arch. Viganò has offered a number of concrete, real allegations in his recent document, giving names, dates, places, and the location of supporting documentation – either at the Secretariat of State or at the Apostolic Nunciature. Thus, the criteria for credible allegations are more than fulfilled, and an investigation, according to proper canonical procedures, is certainly in order.

 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, San Francisco, California

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.

 

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Springfield, Illinois

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 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. Archbishop Viganò has provided his written testimony stating that Pope Francis “must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests. In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him.”

When asked about this aboard the papal plane on his return flight from Ireland on August 26, Pope Francis said, “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this.” Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate. 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. 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.

In this regard, I concur completely with the statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who yesterday “reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”

 

Bishop Carl Kemme, Wichita, Kansas

The most recent allegations contained in the testimony of the former nuncio of the Holy See to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, released on Saturday have left many in the Church in this country and abroad with serious concerns and questions. I share those same questions and concerns. As your bishop charged with the governance of the Diocese of Wichita, I wish to make the following response.

I have spoken to Archbishop Vigano on only two previous occasions, the first being the day it was announced to me that I had been appointed by Pope Francis as the eleventh bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and then again on my ordination day on May 1, 2014 which Archbishop Vigano graciously attended. In these conversations, I found Archbishop Vigano to be most kind and amiable. In the brief time that my service here as bishop and his service as papal nuncio coincided, I always thought highly of his leadership and regarded him as someone whom the Church could be proud of in her service. However, I am unable to personally speak to any of the allegations he makes as a matter of conscience against certain individuals including Pope Francis regarding the current crisis we face in the Church today.

Therefore, I join with others in expressing my hope and expectation that a full, independent and transparent investigation be conducted in this matter so as to bring forth the truth. The allegations of such a respected bishop in the Church and one charged with such great responsibility as the papal nuncio to the United States demands such an investigation.

 

Archbishop Paul Coakley, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dear brother priests, deacons, consecrated women and men and members of the lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City,

The August 22 release of the eleven-page “testimony” of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, has sent shock waves throughout the Catholic Church.  This document merits, indeed it demands deeper examination and verification of each of its claims.  Like so many, I am deeply troubled by the assertions contained in this unprecedented document.

While I lack any personal knowledge or experience of the details contained in his “testimony,” I have the deepest respect for Archbishop Viganó and his personal integrity.  His claims, yet to be investigated or substantiated, confirm the urgency of a thorough investigation of Archbishop McCarrick’s advancement through the ecclesiastical ranks given his history of alleged abuse, involving seminarians and young people. I lend my voice and support to that of Cardinal DiNardo, President of the USCCB, and so many of my brother bishops in asking for such an investigation.

This is a very dark moment in the history of our beautiful, but wounded, Catholic Church. We are called to prayer and penance for the purification of the Church and our bishops and priests must set the example. It calls for a renewed commitment to vigilance, transparency and accountability from our shepherds and indeed for the whole Church.  Only prayer, penance and deeper conversion will guide us through this dark period.

I am encouraged and finding consolation as I reflect on the Lord’s promise to Peter that “the gates of hell will not prevail” against his divinely established Church.  We have his promise, “I am with you always.”  Let us cling to that promise!  God is faithful.  God is with us.

Please pray for all victims of abuse, especially those harmed by members of the clergy.  May God deliver us from this deadly scourge!  Please pray for me and for all our priests and deacons.