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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò speaks at the Rome Life Forum in May 2018.
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Pro-life academy backs Viganò’s ‘heroic’ testimony about Pope Francis

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Updated October 1, 2018 at 4:49 p.m. with revised language from the Academy.

September 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The academy of pro-life and pro-family experts founded after Pope Francis dismantled the Pontifical Academy for Life has come out with a strong statement supporting Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

The John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family warns that remaining silent about sexually abusive prelates is a “great crime” and an “evil silence.” The statement is signed by the Academy’s president, Prof. Josef Seifert.

Not only is silence in the face of clerical abuse a crime, the Academy said, it allows abusers to remain in power when they should be in prison.

The statement comes roughly one month after Viganò’s bombshell testimony implicating Francis and other senior Churchmen in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s reported serial sexual abuse of seminarians and priests. It comes a day after Viganò responded to Francis’ official “silence” in answer to the allegations.

“We wish to express our profound support of Archbishop Viganò’s courage, true charity and faithfulness to Peter, for we recognize that it was solely at the service of truth that Archbishop Viganò, with great heroism and without any personal ulterior personal motive, has revealed most sad facts and occurrences that have taken place in the life of the Church,” the statement reads. “As Archbishop Viganò stated in his second message, dated and to be published on Sept. 29, 2018, the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, any secret (including a Pontifical secret) which is not under the seal of confession, ceases to impose the obligation to observe silence as soon as such a silence can bring great harm to the Church.”

“The silence which some voices demand from Archbishop Viganò is the silence of the bad pastors who flee and deliver their flock to the wolves, instead of forcefully and courageously resisting them and driving them away,” the statement adds.

Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, has been in hiding since his testimony’s August 25 release.

Francis has refused to address the charges, first stating he would “not say a word” about them. Instead in his daily Mass homilies he has made repeated denunciations of the “Great Accuser,” while promoting silence as a Christ-like response.

Viganò addressed Francis’ response and more in a subsequent testimony published Thursday noting that while the pope had stated he would not speak of the allegations, neither he, nor any of the cardinals in Rome have denied the particulars Viganò had asserted in the initial testimony. 

Keeping silent about such crimes is itself a crime, the JAHLF said in its statement, and it is not the silence of Christ before Pilate.

“Certainly, to persist in remaining silent about the sexual crimes committed by priests and prelates – crimes that cause great harm not just to many souls but also to the whole Church – is in itself a great crime,” the Academy stated.

“Such a silence is not the Holy Silence of Jesus in front of Pilate (to whom He had already addressed many weighty words before His silence), but is an evil silence, one which bespeaks a silent pact with the devil,” the JAHLF said.

It is “a silence that delivers other innocent victims to further sexual abuses,” and “a silence that allows priests and prelates to continue in their pastoral office and the governance of the Church, when they should be stripped of their office according to the prescriptions of Canon Law, and sent to confinement to do penance for their sins, instead.”

The Academy was formed last year in follow-up to Pope Francis’ dismantling of the Pontifical Academy for Life in favor of abortion supporters and a new mandate diluted with immigration and the environment.

The JAHLF statement in support of Archbishop Viganò is reprinted in full below. Read it in PDF form here.

*******

September 29, 2018
Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (and of the archangels St. Gabriel and St. Raphael)

In support of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

An open letter from JAHLF

An open letter from the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family in support of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to Pope Francis and to all the Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious and lay members of the Holy Catholic Church and to all men and women of good will.

Your Holiness, Your Eminences, Your Excellences, Priests, Deacons, Consecrated persons, families, laymen and laywomen of the Catholic Church, all persons who love the true, the just, and the good,

We wish to express our profound support of Archbishop Viganò’s courage, true charity and faithfulness to Peter, for we recognize that it was solely at the service of truth that Archbishop Viganò, with great heroism and without any personal ulterior personal motive, has revealed most sad facts and occurrences that have taken place in the life of the Church. As Archbishop Viganò stated in his second message, dated and to be published on Sept. 29, 2018, the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, any secret (including a Pontifical secret) which is not under the seal of confession, ceases to impose the obligation to observe silence as soon as such a silence can bring great harm to the Church.

Certainly, to persist in remaining silent about the sexual crimes committed by priests and prelates – crimes that cause great harm not just to many souls but also to the whole Church – is in itself a great crime. It is a great crime because it is a poisonous silence, which obstructs that measures be taken to protect young seminarians, priests, and laypersons from further harm. Such a silence is not the Holy Silence of Jesus in front of Pilate (to whom He had already addressed many weighty words before His silence), but is an evil silence, one which bespeaks a silent pact with the devil. A silence that delivers other innocent victims to further sexual abuses. A silence that allows priests and prelates to continue in their pastoral office and the governance of the Church, when they should be stripped of their office according to the prescriptions of Canon Law, and sent to confinement to do penance for their sins, instead.

The silence which some voices demand from Archbishop Viganò is the silence of the bad pastors who flee and deliver their flock to the wolves, instead of forcefully and courageously resisting them and driving them away.

We also fully support Archbishop Viganò’s sincere plea that all those responsible for such silence and cover-ups  should be ordered to resign by the highest ecclesiastic authorities, or, better still, resign freely in accordance with the truth and the voice of their conscience in which the words of our Savior Jesus Christ should resound loud and clear:

But whoever shall occasion the fall of one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 

Mathew 18:6

May our Lady, Queen of all holy Angels, Queen of All Saints, and may St. Michael the Archangel and Patron of the Holy Church, wake up our Lord and all those who represent Him on earth when He seems to sleep in the middle of the storm and dangerous waves that afflict us, so that through their intercession to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jesus, true God and true Man, may be moved, as he was by Peter, to stand up and bless the Church in this present storm, and to command silence to the winds and turbulent waters that threaten to capsize the bark of the Church.

May God Himself give His Holy Bride, the Church, so much deformed by sinners, true healing and renewal! This is the only hope for the Church, which is also Archbishop Viganò’s hope, a hope that we all share with him. Anyone who charges him with pride, divisiveness, or disrespect for the Pope is committing an act of slandering against him, for he is one of those good pastors of the Church who, with regard to the scandal of sexual abuse, speaaks as openly to Peter as Saint Paul during the Apostolic Council. He neither flees and leaves his flock to the wolves, nor lies nor protects criminal offenders with falsehood or sinful silence.

His Excellency, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, would do us the greatest honor if he were to accept our most cordial invitation to become a member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and The Family. We thank God for the great gift to the Church that God has given us through Archbishop Viganò.

The President

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Dr. h.c. Josef Seifert, Founding Rector of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality Liechtenstein

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