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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Raymond Burke, former head of the Vatican's highest court, is calling for an investigation into former papal nuncio Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò's allegations that Pope Francis covered up former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick's serial sexual predation.
"The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church," Cdl. Burke told LifeSiteNews Sunday. "Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church's time-tried procedural law."
"After the truth of each declaration has been established," Burke continued, "then the appropriate sanctions must be applied both for the healing of the horrible wounds inflicted upon the Church and her members, and for the reparation of the grave scandal caused."
Burke's comments come in the wake of Viganò's 11-page statement testifying that Pope Francis knew McCarrick was a homosexual predator but "continued to cover him," even making him "his trusted counselor" in selecting bishops for appointment, including Cdl. Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey and Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago.
In his testimony, Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign — a demand being echoed across the Catholic world.
The former papal nuncio also urged his brother bishops to purge the Church of the gay lobby.
"The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated," he wrote.
Viganò referenced the words of Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
"The problem of clergy abuse," she wrote, "cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated."
"These homosexual networks," Viganò continued, "which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church."
"I implore everyone, especially Bishops, to speak up in order to defeat this conspiracy of silence that is so widespread, and to report the cases of abuse they know about to the media and civil authorities," he added.
On Sunday, Burke echoed Viganò's call, rallying "all good Catholics" to "insist upon knowing the truth" and asking them to "pray and sacrifice for the Church at this tumultuous time."
The revelations, he said, are a part of a needed purification of the Church.
"The corruption and filth which have entered into the life of the Church must be purified at their roots. ... Such purification can only take place with the full and uncompromised respect for the truth."