Pope meets USA cardinal in shadow of abuse crisis

Satan working overtime to destroy Church says Pope

And conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican's former ambassador to Washington, claimed in an 11-page document in August that Francis and other church officials knew for years about sexual misconduct by now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick with seminarians in the US yet protected him.

The cardinal said a review of his files showed there were no documents about any sanctions imposed on McCarrick and that it was "false" to suggest Francis had annulled any such measures. Archbishop Vigano's letter followed a massive statement in mid-August calling on Pope Francis to resign because, he claimed, Pope Francis had known there were sanctions on Cardinal McCarrick and not only did he lift them, he allegedly made Cardinal McCarrick a trusted confidant and adviser on bishops' appointments in the United States.

The Vatican press office October 6 published a statement saying Pope Francis has decided that as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues its investigations into the sex abuse allegations against Cardinal McCarrick, "a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick" will take place.

Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellett said Vigano's "unjustified attack" was a "political manoeuver without any real foundation" that aimed "to incriminate the pope".

"I believe it is incredible and unlikely from many points of view to accuse Pope Francis of having covered up after having full knowledge of the facts of this presumed sexual predator, and therefore of being an accomplice in the corruption rampant in the Church, to the point of considering him unfit to continue his reforms as the first Shepherd of the Church". Adult priests and seminarians also claimed that McCarrick harassed them.

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The Vatican was informed starting in at least 2000 about the seminarian complaints.

Ouellet did acknowledge that McCarrick had been "strongly exhorted" not to travel or appear in public, and to live a discreet life of prayer given the rumors against him.

Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation as a cardinal in July after a United States church investigation determined that an allegation that he groped a teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible. Since then, another man has come forward saying McCarrick molested him when he was a young teen. "This mistake would lead us to let down our guard", Francis wrote in a Vatican document in April.

McCarrick escaped being sanctioned because "at that time, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged guilt".

"I imagine the enormous quantity of verbal and written information that he would have gathered on that occasion about many persons and situations". However, the cardinal added, "I told you verbally of the situation of the bishop emeritus who was to observe certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors about his behavior in the past". As prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Ouellet meets weekly with Francis to discuss nominations, and presumably would have come to understand if McCarrick had Francis' ear. I understand that bitterness and delusions have been a part of your journey in service to the Holy See, but you can not conclude your priestly life in this way, in open and scandalous rebellion, which is inflicting a very painful wound on the Bride of Christ, whom you claim to serve better, thus aggravating the division and confusion in the People of God!

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