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ROME, August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has spoken out from an undisclosed location in response to attempts to discredit his 11-page testimony implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in coving up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians and priests.
In an interview this week with Aldo Maria Valli, an Italian journalist who helped Viganò plan the publicatin of his statement, the former U.S. Nuncio pushed back on claims that he was motivated by revenge. Instead, he insists he spoke out because “the corruption has reached the top levels of the heirarchy of the Church. ” He also asks journalists why they are not investigating what happened to the “cache of documents” that Benedict XVI delivered to Pope Francis after his election, documents which may confirm the allegations made in his testimony.
Here below we publish a LifeSite translation of the interview with Archbishop Viganò, which originally appeared on the blog of Aldo Maria Valli.
Monsignor, how are you doing?
Thanks be to God very well, with great serenity and peace of conscience: it is truth’s reward. The light always conquers the darkness. It cannot be suppressed, especially for those who have faith. Therefore, I have great confidence and hope for the Church.
What is your take on the reactions to the publication of your memorandum?
As you know, there are opposing reactions. There are those with nowhere else where to draw poison to destroy my credibility. Someone has even written that I was hospitalized twice for compulsory treatment for drug use. There are those who imagine conspiracies, political conspiracies, all sort of plots, etc. But there are also many articles of appreciation and I have seen messages from priests and faithful who thank me because my testimony brought them a glimmer of new hope for the Church.
How do you resond to those who are now objecting that you are motivated by personal resentment towards the Pope, and that is why you decided to write and circulate your memorandum?
Perhaps because I am naive and accustomed always to think well of people — but especially I recognize that it is a gift that the Lord has given me — I have never had feelings of revenge or held a grudge in all these years I have been tested by so much slander and falsehoods spoken against me.
As I wrote at the beginning of my testimony, I had always believed that the hierarchy of the Church would find in itself the resources needed to resolve all the corruption. I also wrote it in my letter to the three cardinals appointed by Pope Benedict to investigate the Vatileaks case, a letter that accompanied the report I gave to them: “Many of you knew, but remained silent,” I wrote. “At least now that you have been given this assignment by Benedict, have the courage to report faithfully what has been revealed to you about so many situations of corruption.”
Why did you decide to have your testimony published and circulated?
I spoke out because at this point the corruption has reached the top levels of the heirarchy of the Church. I ask journalists: why are they not asking what ever happened to the cache of documents that, as we all saw, Pope Benedict had delivered to Pope Francis at Castelgandolfo? Was it all for naught? It would have been enough to follow my report and verbal testimony that I made at my desposition before the three cardinals charged with investigating Vatileaks (Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko e Salvatore De Giorgi) to begin to clean up the Curia a bit. But do you know how Cardinal Herranz responded me when I called him from Washington, given that so much time had passed since this Commission had been appointed Pope Benedict and still no one had contacted me? At the time we were on familiar terms and I told him: “Don’t you think I have something to say on the topic of my letters, which were published without my knowledge?” He replied: “Ah, if you really want to.”
How do you answer those who say that you are the mole [the equivalent of the Italian “corvo,” meaning “raven” or “crow”] or one of the “moles” behind the Vatileaks case?
Me, the mole? As you have seen by my testimony, I usually do things in the light of day! At the time, I had been in Washington for quite a while and I certainly had other things to think about. On the other hand, it has always been a habit of mine to immerse myself completely in my new mission. This is what I did when I was sent to Nigeria: I didn’t even read Italian news any longer. So much so that, after six years, when I was recalled to the Secretariat of State by Saint John Paul II, it took me a few months to re-orient myself, even though I had already been in the Secretariat of State for eleven years, from 1978 to 1989.
How do you respond to those who say you were removed from the Governorate and that is also why you harbor feelings of resentment and a desire for revenge?
As I have already said, rancor and revenge are feelings that are not part of my make up. My resistance to leaving my post in the Governorate was motivated by a deep sense of injustice over a decision that I knew didn’t correspond to the will that Pope Benedict himself had revealed to me. In order to remove me, Cardinal Bertone committed a series of serious abuses of authority: he dissolved a first commission composed of three cardinals whom Pope Benedict had appointed to investigate the serious accusations made by me, as general secretary, and by the vice-secretary-general Monsignor Giorgio Corbellini, regarding the abuses committed by Monsignor Paolo Nicolini. In the place of this commission of cardinals he created a disciplinary commission altering in its composition the institutional one of the Governorate. Even before setting up this commission he summoned me to inform me that the Holy Father had appointed me nuncio to Washington. Depite the fact that the commission had decided on July 16, 2011 to dismiss Monsignor Paolo Nicolini, he abusively cancelled that decision and prevented it from being published. In doing so, he prevented me from continuing the work of remedying the corruption in the Governorate’s management.
How do you respond to those who speak of your “obsession” with becoming a cardinal and maintain that you are now attacking the pope also because you have not received the red hat?
I can say with all sincerity before God that, in fact, I renounced being a cardinal. After my first letter to Cardinal Bertone, which I sent to the Pope so that he could do whatever he thought best, Pope Benedict called me and received me in audience on April 4, 2011 and immediately spoke these words to me: “I believe that the post in which you can best serve the Holy See is as president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, in place of Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.” I thanked the Pope for the trust he showed me and added: “Holy Father, why not wait six months or a year? Because, if you promote me right now, the team that has trusted me to remedy the situation in the Governorate will be immediately dispersed and persecuted (as indeed has happened). I also added another argument. Given that Cardinal De Paolis had recently been charged with remedying the delicate situation of the Legionaries of Christ (Cardinal De Paolis had consulted me before accepting the assignment), I told the Pope that it was better that he continue to have an institutional post that gave greater authority to his person and to his action with the Legionaries.
At the end of the audience the pope again told me: “I still believe that the place in which you can best serve the Holy See is as president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs.” Cardinal Re can confirm this story. Therefore I then renounced being made a cardinal for the good of the Church.
How do you respond to those who involve your family by talking about the “saga” with huge economic interests?
On March 20, 2013, my siblings prepared a statement for the press, which I opposed at the time so as to avoid involving the entire family in the matter. As the accusation of my brother Don Lorenzo is now coming up again; namely, that I lied to Pope Benedict in writing of my concern over having to leave because I had to take care of my sick brother, I decided to make the statement public. In reading it, it becomes clear that I felt a serious moral responsibility to take care of and to protect my brother.
Translation by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews.
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