Catholic News Service
November 11, 2020
By Cindy Wooden
In an unusual move, both Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI subjected themselves to questioning by Vatican investigators charged with compiling a report on how church decisions were made regarding the career and ultimate expulsion of Theodore E. McCarrick.
“Pope Francis was questioned closely regarding the 23 June and 10 October 2013 meetings” during which Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former nuncio to the United States, claimed he told Pope Francis about McCarrick’s history of sexual misconduct and about supposed sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, said the report released Nov. 10.
The footnotes indicate that McCarrick himself also was among the more than 90 people interviewed for the report. Vigano, who claimed to have gone into hiding after making his accusations against Pope Francis in 2018, apparently was not. The report refers only to his 2018 statement and to documents and letters written by him and available in archives at the Vatican and the nunciature in Washington.
In the interviews, “Pope Francis did not recollect what Vigano said about McCarrick” during the two 2013 meetings with Vigano, the report said. “However, because McCarrick was a cardinal known personally to him, Pope Francis was certain that he would have remembered had Vigano spoken about McCarrick with any ‘force or clarity.’”
The pope also said he was “certain that Vigano never told him that McCarrick had committed ‘crimes’ against any person, whether adult or minor, or described McCarrick as a ‘serial predator’ or stated that McCarrick had ‘corrupted generations of seminarians and priests,’” as Vigano claimed in 2018.
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