Titled "The People of God Respond," the petition calls on Pope Francis to provide for an investigation into the allegations of Abp. Viganò's recent bombshell testimony.
The text of the petitions reads:
Therefore, as the sheep entrusted to your care by the Good Shepherd, conscious of our authority as children of God the Father who have been purchased by the Blood of His beloved Son, we ask for an immediate, full and exhaustive investigation be made into these allegations so that the moral witness of your person, and that of the senior hierarchy of the Church, may be exonerated of all suspicion of incompetence, neglect and evildoing.
The online petition features an extensive preamble which, among other things, lists the allegations against Pope Francis found in Abp. Viganò's testimony.
"Your Holiness," the preamble begins, "As the children of God, baptized into Christ and sealed in Confirmation by the Holy Spirit, we approach you in humility and charity to present our petition."
One part of the preamble reads, "Holy Father, look at the tears we have shed in reading the Testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, released on August 25, 2018, for it contains numerous and grave accusations against you, Holy Father, accusations from which mistrust and suspicion arise against you."
The preamble notes that Abp. Viganò himself called for the Pope's resignation:
Holy Father, for all these reasons, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has even demanded that you, Pope Francis, accept for yourself that same safeguard which you have promised to us as a means of eradicating the corruption in the Hierarchy, namely the removal of those bishops who have failed to protect the flock entrusted to their care, and therefore asks that you resign as Pope and Vicar of Christ.
Indeed, in his testimony, Abp. Viganò wrote, "In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he [Pope Francis] must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them."
The online petition will be sent to Abp. Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States. It will also be sent to Cdl. Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
At the time of this article's publication, the number of signatures was approaching 2,000.
Most of the signatories so far are from the United States, but a good number are listed as being from Canada and Mexico. A few people have signed the petition from other parts of the world as well, including Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina and the United Kingdom.
A section of the webpage explaining the need for the petition says of Abp. Viganò's testimony, "Never in history have such accusations of a Pope been made so public."
It adds, "Within 48 hours there was virtually no one in the civilized world that has not heard them. These accusations cannot be left unchallenged because they threaten the faith of the People of God in Pope Francis. They also threaten his moral authority to the secular world."