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GARY, Indiana, September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Allegations that Pope Francis lifted restrictions from now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick despite knowing he was a sexual predator are “grave charges” that “must be investigated and shown either true or false,” said Indiana Bishop Donald Hying.
“As you may have read, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the former papal nuncio to the United States, has recently asserted that Pope Francis knew about the background of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, i.e. that he was a sexual predator and that Francis lifted the restrictions that Pope Benedict had imposed on McCarrick, relying on him as an advisor and as an envoy to foreign countries for special missions,” said Bishop Hying in an August 28 statement.
“These are grave charges. Clearly, these assertions must be investigated and shown either true or false,” he added.
Controversy continues to swirl around the Pope and other top prelates after Viganò’s August 25 testimony implicated Francis and others as covering for McCarrick.
While Francis has said he will not speak about the charges, Hying’s call for an investigation into Viganò’s testimony echoes that of numerous other U.S. prelates and also tens of thousands of Catholic laity.
The Vatican announced Tuesday that Francis, who had met in late August with Washington Cardinal Wuerl — embattled by reports he moved abusive priests between parishes while bishop of Pittsburgh and knew about his predecessor McCarrick — would meet with USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.
The cardinal archbishop of Galveston-Houston had requested a meeting with Francis some time ago, for the purpose of asking for a Vatican investigation into McCarrick.
Only the Pope has the ability to sanction bishops for misconduct.
“Those who have committed crimes of abuse and those who facilitated such crimes must be held accountable,” Hying stated. “This is an absolute necessity if the Church is going to regain trust and move forward in the mission of Christ.”
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