Archbishop Viganò: Pope, Vatican Officials Covered Up Abuse

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 8, 2019   

Whistleblower highlights cases where abuse claims were ignored, kept under wraps

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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - A high-ranking whistleblower says Pope Francis was complicit in covering up the alleged abuse of underage boys.

Vatican whistleblower Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò gave an interview with The Washington Post published June 10. According to recent reporting from LifeSiteNews, The Washington Post cut out from the article a set of damning accusations against the Pope and several high-ranking prelates.

When The Washington Post asked Abp. Viganò if he thinks the Vatican has made progress on the abuse crisis, he replied, "The signs I see are truly ominous. Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers."


He pointed to Francis' flattery of Cdl. Donald Wuerl, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., who resigned amid fallout from abuse scandals. Viganò noted that despite Cdl. Wuerl's "repeated and blatant lies," the Pope praised Wuerl's "nobility" when accepting his resignation.

Archbishop Viganò remarked, "What credibility has the pope left after this kind of statement?"

He then went on to state:

I now wish to bring to your attention two recent and truly horrifying cases involving allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis' tenure. The pope and many prelates in the Curia are well aware of these allegations, but in neither case was an open and thorough investigation permitted. An objective observer cannot help but suspect that horrible deeds are being covered up.

The first case Abp. Viganò discussed involved abuse allegations at the Vatican's St. Pius X Pre-Seminary — which is where boys from around the world can train to be altar servers for the Pope.

A young man attending St. Pius X Pre-Seminary claims that an older seminarian committed homosexual assault against a younger seminarian over the course of five years, beginning when the younger victim was only 13 years old.

The pope and many prelates in the Curia are well aware of these allegations, but in neither case was an open and thorough investigation permitted.

Kamil Jarzembowski, the roommate of the alleged victim, claims he witnessed the 21-year-old seminarian sexually assault the boy on more than 100 occasions.

The diocese of Como, located in northern Italy, is responsible for overseeing the pre-seminary in Rome. Father Andrea Stabellini, judicial vicar of the Como diocese, conducted a preliminary investigation into the abuse allegations and determined a need for further fact-finding. But higher-ups in the hierarchy prohibited him from continuing his investigation.

Responsible for the cover-up, according to Abp. Viganò, were "then-bishop of Como, Diego Coletti, together with Cdl. Angelo Comastri, Vicar General of Pope Francis for Vatican City."

In November 2017, the Como diocese threatened to sue journalist Gaetano Pecoraro for his investigative reporting on the abuse allegations at St. Pius X Pre-Seminary.

Archbishop Viganò gave further information on how the abuse claims were covered up:

You might wonder how this horrible case was closed. The Bishop of Como removed Don Stabellini from the post of Judicial Vicar; the whistleblower, the seminarian Kamil Jarzembowski, was expelled from the seminary; the two fellow seminarians who had joined him in the denunciation left the seminary; and the alleged abuser, Gabriele Martinelli, was ordained priest in July 2017. 

The second case that Abp. Viganò discussed was one involving Abp. Edgar Peña Parra, the Venezuelan prelate whom Pope Francis appointed substitute for the Secretariat of State last year.

Archbishop Viganò said about Francis' appointment of Abp. Peña Parra, "In doing so, the pope essentially ignored a terrifying dossier sent to him by a group of faithful from Maracaibo," the archdiocese where Abp. Peña was ordained a priest in 1985.

That dossier, Abp. Viganò noted, was titled "Who really is Msgr. Edgar Robinson Peña Parra, the New Substitute of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican?"

As early as 2000, allegations surfaced that Peña Parra had seduced two underaged seminarians at a parish back in 1990.

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The Venezuelan archbishop was also accused of being involved in the mysterious deaths of two people in August 1992. Archbishop Viganò commented, "This same accusation is also contained in the aforementioned dossier sent by a group of lay people from Maracaibo, with the additional detail that the two corpses were found naked, with evidence of macabre homosexual lewd encounters."

Archbishop Viganò claimed that these two accusations were "known by the Secretariat of State in the Vatican since 2002, which I learned when I served as the Delegate for Pontifical Representations."

He further argued that Cdl. Pietro Parolin, who has served as Vatican secretary of state since 2013, is complicit in covering up the allegations against Peña Parra.

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state for the Holy See

(Wikimedia Commons)

"Furthermore," Abp. Viganò added, "Cdl. Parolin knows the names of a number of priests in the Curia who are sexually unchaste, violating the laws of God that they solemnly committed themselves to teach and practice, and he continues to look the other way."

He also put blame on Francis, saying, "If Cdl. Parolin's responsibilities are grave, even more so are those of Pope Francis for having chosen for an extremely important position in the Church a man accused of such serious crimes, without first insisting on an open and thorough investigation."

According to reports, men who were in seminary with Peña Parra in the 1980s complained that he was a homosexual.

Archbishop Viganò finished his newly revealed response to The Washington Post's question by stating, "You ask me if I see any signs that the Vatican, under Pope Francis, is taking proper steps to address the serious issues of abuse. My answer is simple: Pope Francis himself is covering up abuse right now, as he did for McCarrick. I say this with great sorrow."

He continued:

When King David pronounced the greedy rich man in Nathan's parable worthy of death, the prophet told him bluntly, "You are the man" (2 Sam 12:1–7). I had hoped my testimony might be received like Nathan's, but it was instead received like that of Micaiah (1 Kings 22:15–27). I pray that this will change.

Archbishop Viganò has been living in hiding since August of 2018, when he released a bombshell testimony claiming that Pope Francis rolled back canonical disciplines that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on notorious abuser Theodore McCarrick — now a laicized ex-cardinal.

In the months that followed, Abp. Viganò released several more public letters from hiding.

 

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