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Vatican whistleblower Abp Viganò awarded for defending faith by US Catholic group

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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, October 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has received an award from a U.S. Catholic group for his defense of the faith by exposing the cover-up of clerical abuse in the highest echelons of the Church. 

The “Msgr. Alphonse S. Popek Award” was bestowed on the former apostolic nuncio to the United States by the St. Gregory VII Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) on Saturday.  

John-Henry Westen, Editor-in-chief and co-founder of LifeSiteNews, accepted the award on behalf of the Archbishop who has been in hiding since publishing his testimony last year.

"All of those who battle for life, family, and faith inside the Church today, if they are doing it properly, are doing it out of love, love for the Church, yes, but also love for the Pope," said Westen during a speech he gave after accepting the award on Viganò's behalf. 

Westen said that Archbishop Viganò "exemplifies" not only what it means to be "Catholic" today, but one of "great courage."

Leadership, zeal, and fidelity

Archbishop Viganò, “more than meets the Popek award criteria, which are: ‘leadership of the laity, zeal for the priesthood, and fidelity to the Magisterium,’” according to the CUF. 

In August 2018, Viganò released on LifeSiteNews his 11-page testimony in which he said that he personally told Pope Francis in 2013 about the sanctions imposed on then-cardinal Theodore McCarrick by erstwhile Pope Benedict XVI, due to allegations against McCarrick of sexual abuse.  He alleged that Pope Francis did “not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on McCarrick,” but instead made McCarrick “his trusted counselor.”

Viganò told the CUF that he considered it his duty to offer his testimony to the truth “out of love for the Church and the Pope.”

“I am very grateful to each one of you especially for having supported me with your prayers in this time of terrible trial which is facing our beloved Church, which is reaching its climax in these days in the Amazon Synod,” wrote the Archbishop in a letter expressing his gratitude for the award [read full letter below]. 

“You yourselves are well aware of the aberrant and sacrilegious pagan rites that took place not only in the Vatican gardens, but in the Basilica of St. Peter, the center of Christianity, where the tomb of the blessed Apostle Peter is kept,” said Archbishop Viganò.  

“Bishops and cardinals and even the one who more than any other would have had to protect the Bride of Christ from the attacks of the Devil have been responsible for abominable acts of profanation and apostasy,” he continued.

“Our faith in the Risen Christ present in our midst, and the protection of Mary Most Holy, at the forefront as an army deployed in battle, reassure us, console us and ask us for our commitment to persevere firm in the faith and do our part to protect the sound doctrine transmitted to us by the apostles and martyrs.”. 

“I invite all of you to intensify your prayers, to perform acts of reparation in adoration to the Most Holy Eucharist, Christ Jesus alive, present in our tabernacles, and with the recitation of the Holy Rosary to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church,” he added.

Archbishop Viganò encouraged seminarians to “follow no human ideology but Christ  himself and Christ crucified. He is our only way. Take special care of your spiritual life.”

He also urged lay people “to pray in a special way for the priestly and male and female religious vocations” and to exercise vigilance over doctrine and discipline in seminaries and in the formation of the young so that they might “live according to the heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.”   

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Full text of Archbishop Viganò’s letter:

Dear Members of St. Gregory VII Chapter of Catholic United for the Faith, 

In the impossibility of being present in person, I consider myself particularly honored and grateful to Mr. John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor of LifeSiteNews, for having graciously accepted to represent me to receive the Msgr. Alphonse S. Popek Award.

I am deeply grateful to you Catholic United for the Faith for this recognition that you wanted to attribute to me for the testimony to the truth that I considered it my duty to offer out of love for the Church and the Pope. I am very grateful to each one of you especially for having supported me with your prayers in this time of terrible trial which is facing our beloved Church, which is reaching its climax in these days in the Amazon Synod.

You yourselves are well aware of the aberrant and sacrilegious pagan rites that took place not only in the Vatican gardens, but in the Basilica of St. Peter, the center of Christianity, where the tomb of the blessed Apostle Peter is kept. Bishops and cardinals and even the one who more than any other would have had to protect the Bride of Christ from the attacks of the Devil have been responsible for abominable acts of profanation and apostasy.

Our faith in the Risen Christ present in our midst, and the protection of Mary Most Holy, at the forefront as an army deployed in battle, reassure us, console us and ask us for our commitment to persevere firm in the faith and do our part to protect the sound doctrine transmitted to us by the apostles and martyrs.

I invite all of you to intensify your prayers, to perform acts of reparation in adoration to the Most Holy Eucharist, Christ Jesus alive, present in our tabernacles, and with the recitation of the Holy Rosary to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

My thoughts go in particular to the seminarians in the numerous seminaries in the United States, many of which I was able to visit as an Apostolic Nuncio in your country. There I met generous young people, eager to follow Christ, aware that our Church you are called to serve with all your energy to lead souls to the kingdom of God, must follow no an human ideology but Christ  himself and Christ crucified. He is our only way. Take special care of your spiritual life.

I would like also to ask you lay people to pray in a special way for the priestly and male and female religious vocations that the Lord sends among you. It is also necessary as lay people, to whom the future of the Church is at heart, that you have particular vigilance over doctrine and discipline in your seminary in Milwaukee and in novitiates for formation to the consecrated life. As a people of God, as good Christian fathers and mothers, you have the right to claim from those who are in charge of the formation of your young people to teach them sound doctrine and how to live according to the heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Dear friends, I accompany you with my prayers and I bless you with affection in Christ Jesus, our only Lord.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, titular Archbishop of Ulpiana, Apostolic Nuncio

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