The head of the Vatican’s bishop office rejected an ambassador’s claim that Pope Francis covered up the misconduct of an American cardinal.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet issued a letter Sunday six weeks after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claimed that the pope protected ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Ouellet’s letter also came just a day after the pope approved a “thorough” study of all Vatican archives to investigate how McCarrick managed to be promoted in the Catholic Church despite allegations that he was sexually involved with seminarians and young priests.
Ouellet said there was no evidence of a cover up.
“In response to your unjust and unjustified attack, dear Vigano, I conclude that your accusation is a political setup without any real foundation that could incriminate the pope, and I repeat that it has profoundly wounded the communion of the church,” Ouellet wrote.
Vigano had issued an 11-page letter where he accused more than 20 Vatican and American church officials of covering up for Carrick. He also demanded that Pope Francis resign.
In the letter, Vigano accused Francis of making McCarrick a “trusted counselor.”
Ouellet said the claims were “monstrous” and “blasphemous,” telling Vigano in his letter, ““Come out of hiding, repent for your revolt and return to better feelings towards the Holy Father instead of worsening hostility against him.”
McCarrick resigned in July after an investigation found that he groped a teenage alter boy in the 1970s. Another man also claimed that McCarrick had molested him when the man was a teenager. Adult priests and seminarians also claimed that McCarrick harassed them.
In 2005, two New Jersey dioceses gave settlements to two men who said they had been sexually molested or harassed by McCarrick.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Charles McQuillan/Stringer