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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Thomas Tobin called Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s testimony that Pope Francis helped cover up ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual predation “substantive” and said his claims “need to be investigated in a prompt and just manner.”
Tobin, the bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, is not to be confused with Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey. Archbishop Viganò named Cardinal Tobin as one of the prelates who owes his rise to power to McCarrick. The Archdiocese of Newark is one of the dioceses that paid a secret settlement to McCarrick victims.
“I need to emphasize that I do not have any privileged information about this matter, nor do I have the facts necessary to come to a definitive, impartial judgement,” Tobin said in an August 30 statement. “Nonetheless, the allegations lodged by Archbishop Viganò involving Pope Francis are substantive, and need to be investigated in a prompt and just manner.”
“The present impasse in the Church, unfolding on an international level, has caused confusion and division among the faithful, even locally,” he continued. “Only Pope Francis can resolve the serious crisis in which the Church now finds herself, and I respectfully urge His Holiness to address this matter as soon as possible. The future direction of the Church, its spiritual welfare, and the faith of God’s people, are at stake.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said that Viganò’s accusations “deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”
“I am eager for an audience with the Holy Father to earn his support for our plan of action,” said DiNardo.
Bishop Tobin said Catholics need to remain respectful of Pope Francis.
“He is the Vicar of Christ, our Supreme Pastor, and our spiritual father,” the bishop concluded. “Regardless of our perception of current events, the Holy Father needs and deserves our respect, our prayers and our affection, now as much as ever. Members of a family do not abandon their father, even in difficult times.”
Bishop Tobin has announced he will do a 24-hour fast on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, as penance for his “own faults and failures as a Christian, priest and bishop, as well as for the sins and failures of all priests and bishops related to the sexual abuse of minors.”