May 31, 2019
By Robert Mickens
When Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign last summer for allegedly covering up the sexual crimes of the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, it was “like an earthquake for the Church.”
That’s how Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, a former Vatican official and a longtime consultant for CBS News, described Viganò’s “testimony,” an 11-page dossier of accusations and innuendos that targeted the pope and nearly a dozen high-ranking Vatican prelates. Msgr. Figueiredo, a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey) who has been living in Rome since 2006, immediately defended Viganò’s credibility.
“I know him personally,” he told CBS. “I know him as a man of great integrity, honest to the core. He’s worked for three different popes, and [was] sent to a Vatican position, a diplomatic position as big as the United States, which means he’s a trusted man.
“The very bright and articulate Newark priest vouched for Viganò on Aug. 27, 2018, just one day after the former papal nuncio carefully coordinated with LifeSite News and the National Catholic Register to publish his 11 pages of accusations.
Taking Viganò’s leadNow nine months later Msgr. Figueiredo is back in the news. And how!
Following in the footsteps of his friend or acquaintance, Archbishop Viganò, the 55-year-old priest has become the latest clergyman with a public profile to blow the whistle on Church cover-up in the hierarchy.
He did so this past May 28 when he released – simultaneously through CBS and the Catholic publication, Crux – excerpts of personal correspondence with McCarrick, a man whom (you will see in a moment) he once considered a father figure and patron.
These carefully chosen excerpts reinforce claims made by Viganò and others that a number of high-ranking Church officials were aware that Benedict XVI had quietly placed restrictions on the former cardinal but they did nothing to enforce them.
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