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Today Marco Tosatti has published yet another explosive testimony by Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, in which the former nuncio to the United States affirms that the appointment last week of Cdl. Leonardo Sandri as vice-dean of the College of Cardinals is a clear maneuver to prepare for a coming conclave that will again be manipulated by the St. Gallen Group, which campaigned in 2013 to have Pope Benedict XVI resign and Jorge Bergoglio installed as pope.
Sandri was closely involved by then-Secretary of State Cdl. Angelo Sodano in the cover-up of the abuse committed by Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, and has been shown extraordinary favor and protection from the reigning pontiff.
Here is the full statement of Abp. Viganò, published in full today at Marco Tosatti's blog:
Just recently, in one of the most indecent episodes of all, we have seen the Prince of Lies at work in the effort to counterfeit the book written by Pope Benedict XVI and Cdl. Robert Sarah, covering both of them with ignoble insults and vulgar insinuations. This episode also included one who played the role of Judas — the pope's jailer [Abp. Georg Ganswein], who now is also playing the role of hit man.
And now we find that yet another masterpiece of deception has been pulled off right before our eyes — the confirmation by the pontiff [on Saturday, Jan. 25] of the election of the new dean and vice-dean of the College of Cardinals done by the cardinal-bishops. These elections passed almost unnoticed, but they conceal a subtle strategy. We must recall that in June 2018, Pope Francis increased the number of cardinal-bishops, a number which had never changed for centuries, naming four new cardinal-bishops in a single stroke. By doing so he assured that a majority would be favorable to him, as he has always done each time he has created new members of the College of Cardinals.
Cardinal Giovani Battista Re has been appointed as dean of the College of Cardinals, but because he is 86 years old, he will not participate in any future conclave. I wish him a long life, even longer than his father's. But his appointment is meant to distract us from the other more important nomination — that of Cdl. Leonardo Sandri as vice-dean — who is thus positioned to be the one in charge of the next conclave secundum Franciscum, in other words, following an updated and augmented edition of the machinations of the Saint Gallen Mafia.
I have enjoyed a long friendship with Cdl. Sandri, dating back to the time we spent together at Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy [the training school for Vatican diplomats]. We also worked together for 11 years in the same office as secretaries for three different substitutes of the Secretariat of State, and we also worked together for seven years when he himself was appointed as substitute of the Secretariat of State, just six months after he had been appointed as nuncio to Mexico.
"Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas" [Plato is a friend but truth is a greater friend]. This maxim is attributed to Aristotle, and it was used by Plato himself in his dialogues with Socrates, and also by Cicero. Saint Thomas Aquinas explains it in his Sententia libri Ethicorum, Book 1, Lectio 6, n. 4–5:
Quod autem oporteat veritatem praeferre amicis, ostendit hac ratione. Quia ei qui est magis amicus, magis est deferendum. Cum autem amicitiam habeamus ad ambo, scilicet ad veritatem et ad hominem, magis debemus veritatem amare quam hominem, quia hominem praecipue debemus amare propter veritatem et propter virtutem… Veritas autem est amicus superexcellens cui debetur reverentia honoris; est etiam veritas quiddam divinum, in Deo enim primo et principaliter invenitur. Et ideo concludit, quod sanctum est praehonorare veritatem hominibus amicis.
Our translation of St. Thomas reads as follows:
The fact that it is necessary to place truth before friends may be demonstrated with this reason. Whoever is a greater friend should be shown greater honor. Since we are friends of both the truth and the man who is our neighbor, we ought to love the truth more than our neighbor, because we must love our neighbor on account of the truth and virtue. Truth is in fact the most excellent friend to whom the reverence of honor must be shown; truth is something divine that is first and foremost found in God. And therefore we conclude that it is a holy thing to honor the truth first before our friends.
Thus what I am about to write about Cdl. Leonardo Sandri is motivated solely by the friendship that has joined me to him for almost 50 years and a concern for the good of his soul, by love for the Truth who is Christ Himself, and by love for the Church His Spouse, whom Cdl. Sandri and I have both served together.
In the first audience that Francis granted me after the one I have already spoken about on June 23, 2013, when he asked me about Cdl. McCarrick, he asked me a similar question: "What is Cdl. Sandri like?" Caught by surprise at being asked about my dear friend, I was embarrassed and did not say anything in response. Then Francis, holding both his hands up, waved them back and forth — as if to say: "So, so ... he gets by" — and he looked me in the eyes, looking for my agreement. Reflexively, I confided to him:
Holy Father, I don't know if you know the Nuncio Justo Mullor, the president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, who was removed from the apostolic nunciature in Mexico because he opposed the directives coming from the Secretariat of State, which intended to cover up the serious accusations against Marcial Maciel.
I said this to the pope so that he would take into account and eventually remedy the injustice that Abp. Mullor had suffered for refusing to compromise himself, for remaining faithful to the truth out of love for the Church. And it is this truth that I reaffirm here, in order to honor that faithful servant of the Holy See, at whose tomb in the cathedral in Almeria, Spain, I offered a Holy Mass for the repose of his soul.
In my first testimony [in August 2018], I already wrote that the primary person responsible for the cover-up of the misdeeds of Maciel was the then-Secretary of State Cdl. Angelo Sodano. The recent acceptance of his resignation as Dean of the College of Cardinals [on Dec. 21, 2019] was linked to his being implicated in the Maciel affair.
In addition to having protected Maciel, Sodano is certainly no stranger to the way in which McCarrick was promoted. ... At the same time, it is right to recognize that Cdl. Francis Arinze had the merit of being opposed, when he was a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the cover-up of the Maciel case.
Unfortunately for Cdl. Sandri, he also allowed himself to become involved by Sodano in the operation to cover up the horrible misdeeds of Maciel. In order to replace Abp. Mullor as the nuncio in Mexico City, Sodano needed to appoint someone he could completely trust. Sandri had already proven himself as the assessor of the Secretary of State. At the time of his appointment to Mexico City, he had been nuncio in Venezuela for little more than two years.
I became a direct witness of these shady maneuvers, which those who directed them would say were simply normal personnel moves, as a result of a conversation they held on Jan. 25, 2000, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, while we were traveling to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The connection between the dates of these transfers is extremely significant: on Jan. 19, 2000, Abp. Giorgio Zur was transferred to Moscow after only one year as President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy; on Feb. 11, 2000, Abp. Justo Mullor was appointed as President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, even though he had only been in Mexico for two and a half years; on March 1, 2000, Abp. Sandri was transferred to Mexico after only two years in Venezuela. Just six months later, on Sept.16, 2000, Sandri was promoted to Substitute of the Secretariat of State, as the right-hand man of Sodano.
The Legionaries of Christ did not fail to show their gratitude to Sandri. I was present at a luncheon held in the atrium of the Paul VI Audience Hall in honor of the new cardinals who had just been created in the consistory of Nov. 24, 2007, including Sandri. I was bewildered when Sandri told me what he was about to tell Pope Benedict shortly thereafter: "Holy Father, excuse me if I don't stay for lunch, but I have 500 guests waiting for me at the Legionaries of Christ."
Francis has repeatedly and obsessively said that the cause of the sexual abuse crisis is a vaguely defined "clericalism," in order to avoid denouncing the plague of homosexuality. And yet here he is demonstrating the most unscrupulous clericalism, the very thing he has accused so many others of: In May 2018 he promoted Sandri to the rank of cardinal-priest, and just one month later to the rank of cardinal-bishop, so as to be able to approve his nomination as vice-dean of the College of Cardinals. He is the one who has been chosen in advance by Francis to preside over the next conclave.
The faithful have the right to know about these sordid intrigues of a corrupt court. In the heart of the Church, we seem to see the shadow of the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9).
Originally published at Marco Tosatti's blog.
Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino @pellegrino2020