The response of the Vatican leaves no doubt whatsoever that the Fake Pope is guilty of the charges that have been laid by Archbishop Viganò.
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.
- Vatican spokesmen were compelled to issue a public denial after Italian news agencies moved a story claiming close aides to the pope described him as “embittered” about the Viganò affair.
- Two American archbishops on Tuesday and Wednesday became the latest prelates in the country to endorse Viganò’s credibility.
- Viganò himself gave an interview to one of the journalists who originally broke the story of his letter, among other things rejecting suggestions that he’s lashing out at Francis now out of sour grapes.
- At the end of Francis’s General Audience on Wednesday, a group in St. Peter’s Square could be heard chanting, and many observers thought they heard “Viganò!” A priest in the square later said it was actually a pilgrimage group chanting the name of their local bishop, but the fact people immediately thought of Viganò illustrates how much his name is in the air.
Late on Tuesday, the Italian news agency Ansa carried a story citing “close collaborators” of Francis describing the pontiff as embittered by the Viganò affair. On Wednesday, Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, published a story citing “authoritative Vatican sources” to the effect that the claim the pope is embittered “isn’t news,” it’s a “scheme” and a “vulgarity.”
It might seem amusing that the incompetents handling the Vatican PR appear to believe that having the Fake Pope refuse to say a word about charges this explosive, then lashing out about “schemes” and “vulgarity” on his behalf is going to help their cause at all. But then, consider how much worse they must know the actual situation to be if they don’t dare to even deny the accusations, let alone give them a fair and public hearing.