Archbishop Vigano: Key Vatican Official Is Accused Abuser

Catholic World News blog
July 4, 2019

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has revealed that one of the most influential prelates at the Vatican has been accused of sexual abuse.

The archbishop, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, said a “terrifying dossier” has been compiled about alleged offenses by Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, the assistant Secretary of State. “This might even be a scandal surpassing that of McCarrick,” Archbishop Vigano said.

As assistant Secretary of State—known commonly as the sostituto—Archbishop Pena Parra supervises the daily flow of paperwork at the Vatican, and meets regularly with the Pope. The sostituto is commonly regarded as the third most powerful figure at the Vatican, after the Secretary of State and the Pontiff himself.

Archbishop Vigano says that evidence of Archbishop Pena Parra’s misconduct with seminarians had been submitted to the Vatican as early as 2002. A native of Venezuela, Archbishop Pena Parra had been serving in the Vatican diplomatic corps when he was chosen by Pope Francis to become sostituto last year. The appointment was announced in August, just after the explosion of the McCarrick scandal.

Archbishop Vigano made his charge in an interview, conducted by email, with the Washington Post. While the bulk of the interview was published by the Post in June, the newspaper did not include the archbishop’s most stunning charges.

Archbishop Vigano also said that sexual misconduct had been discovered in a seminary on the Vatican grounds, and the perpetrator had been ordained to the priesthood while his victims had been dismissed. He said that abuse charges are still covered up by Vatican officials.

The charges against Archbishop Pena Parra were first compiled by concerned Catholic laymen, and later supported by clerics in a Maracaibo seminary, Archbishop Vigano says. The Italian daily L’Espresso referred to the charges in an article published shortly after the new sostituto took office. “The relevant documentation, if it has not been destroyed, can be found” in the archives of both the Secretariat of State and the apostolic nunciature in Venezuela, Archbishop Vigano said.

Pope Francis has said that he does not believe the charges against Archbishop Pena Parra, suggesting that attacks on the sostituto are really attacks on him.








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