Pope Francis prevails in Vatican abuse row


November 17, 2020

By Hannah Roberts

Accusations from conservative Catholics seem to have backfired.

In the civil war that is raging inside the Catholic church, Pope Francis has won an important battle.

In 2018, Monsignor Carlo Viganò, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., accused Francis of covering up clerical sex abuse at the highest level, alleging that he had ignored sexual misconduct allegations against former Cardinal and Archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick. Viganò then called for the Pope to resign.

But two years on, following the publication of a forensic and ground-breaking report into the case last week, the conservative assault seems to have backfired, with Francis emerging stronger than ever.

The Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was also attacked by Viganò for having “a pro-gay ideology,” called Francis “fearless” in admitting church leaders’ failings. The report represented a “watershed moment” that demonstrated Francis’ “commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency to all victim-survivors,” he said.

The attack by Viganò was widely seen as the latest skirmish in the conflict between progressives and mainly U.S.-based conservatives who oppose Francis for his more liberal stances on issues including homosexuality and migrants.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.