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NEW YORK, September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Vatican response to Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s account of the Kim Davis affair seems to vindicate the embattled archbishop’s key claim, says New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz.
Following Vigano’s August 25 testimony accusing Pope Francis and a number of high-ranking churchmen of covering up ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick serial sexual abuse of seminarians, focus has now shifted to the 2015 meeting between the pope and Davis, the Kentucky law clerk who went to jail rather than grant a licence for a homosexual “marriage.”
Horowitz, who portrays Viganò as spearheading a conservative attack to dethrone a progressive pope, writes that allegations around the Davis meeting relate “not to abuse but to the pope’s own credibility.”
And he points out that in defending the pope, former Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, and Vatican English language attaché and Salt and Light president Fr. Thomas Rosica confirm “part of” Viganò’s key claim: that Pope Francis and his aids green-lighted the private meeting between the pontiff and Davis at the Washington nunciature.
Viganò published his account of the Davis meeting in LifeSiteNews Friday after Horowitz reported last week Chilean abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz alleged the pope told him in a private meeting he didn’t know who Davis was.
“I didn’t know who that woman was, and he snuck her in to say hello to me — and of course they made a whole publicity out of it,” Pope Francis said, according to Cruz. “And I was horrified and I fired that nuncio,” Cruz recalled the pope saying.
“One of them is lying: either Cruz or the pope?” wrote Viganò.
“What is certain is that the pope knew very well who Davis was, and he and his close collaborators had approved the private audience.”
As Horowitz points out, the joint statement Lombardi and Rosica issued Saturday “seems to confirm that.”
The two affirm “the fact that Viganò had spoken the night before the meeting (with Kim Davis) with the pope and his collaborators and had received a consensus,” Horowitz wrote.
They also say they met Viganò in October in his apartment in Rome, where he had been summoned after the story broke.
In his statement, Viganò says Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called him and told him to come to Rome because the Holy Father was “furious” with him, but that when he met with Pope Francis, the latter was cordial and never mentioned Davis.
But in another apparent confirmation that Pope Francis had been briefed on his meeting with Davis, Rosica and Lombardi allege Viganò told them the pope said he was upset because Viganò hadn’t mentioned Davis had four husbands.
Viganò has since responded in detail to Rosica and Lombardi’s statement, including advising the media to “deal with the real problem: that Francis covered up for McCarrick for five years, allowing him to claim other victims.”
That statement also underscores how differently Lombardi and Rosica spun the meeting in 2015, when they sought to downplay the incident.
Then Vatican press director, Lombardi issued a statement confirming a “brief meeting” occurred between Pope Francis and Davis, but that it “should not be considered a form of support of [Davis’] position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
Lombardi also stated the “only real audience” Pope Francis granted at the Washington nunciature was with a former student, openly homosexual Argentine Yayo Grassi, along with his male partner, Iwan Bagus, and several friends.
Rosica suggested then to the New York Times that Pope Francis met Davis in a group, and that the encounter amounted to little more than a “very brief” handshake.
He further suggested to the LA Times the meeting was ad hoc and the pope didn’t really know whom he was meeting: “Was there an opportunity to brief the pope on this beforehand? I don't think so. … Was an in-depth process done? Probably not.”
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