Aftershocks of cover-up accusation against Pope felt in Rome

 | John L. Allen Jr. 08/30/2018 9:27 AM MDT
Pope
Credit: Long Thiên -  Flickr

ROME - Though the Vatican may be trying to ignore the tempest generated by explosive allegations from a former papal ambassador that Pope Francis knew about misconduct allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and ignored them, that didn’t stop reverberations being felt in Rome on Wednesday.

True to his pledge in an in-flight press conference Sunday night to not “say a word” about the charges, Pope Francis during his regular Wednesday general audience didn’t allude to the McCarrick charge. He did recall his weekend trip to Ireland, which featured an apology for the “sins, scandal and sense of betrayal” of the clerical abuse scandals, said that his meeting with survivors left a “deep impression,” and called for “honesty and courage” in facing the situation.

Yet despite the Vatican’s apparent strategy of riding out the storm, there were at least four aftershocks from the earthquake triggered on Sunday, when an 11-page letter from Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was released claiming he informed Francis in June 2013 that McCarrick had “corrupted generations of seminarians,” that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops has a thick dossier on the ex-cardinal, and that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI had imposed restrictions as a result.

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