VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - After a Vatican official released a bombshell testimony claiming Pope Francis knew about McCarrick, theological leftists are going into panic mode.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, came out with an 11-page testimony on Aug. 25 accusing the Pope of removing sanctions against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick that had been imposed years prior by then-Pope Benedict XVI.
The archbishop said there was "a conspiracy of silence" among Church leaders, which involved covering up homosexual predators like McCarrick while promoting the homosexual agenda.
The Catholic Left is pushing back now, trying to discredit Abp. Viganò and his allegations — as well as those reporting on his testimony.
For instance, Villanova University professor Massimo Faggioli called Abp. Viganò a "terrorist" on Twitter, saying on Aug. 26, "After dropping the bomb, the terrorist Viganò [s]ays: 'Silence and prayer are the only things that are befitting.'"
Trying to frame Viganò's testimony as just a conservative bashing liberals, Faggioli also tweeted, "One interesting way to read Vigano's 'testimony' is to substitute 'McCarrick' with 'Maciel and the Legionaries.'"
But Abp. Viganò's testimony actually does mention Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ who was accused of fathering children with several women and sexually abusing seminarians and underage boys. Archbishop Viganò claims that Cdl. Angelo Sodano, former Vatican secretary of state, tried to cover up for Fr. Maciel.
Michael Sean Winters of theologically dissident National Catholic Reporter accused those who believe Abp. Viganò of being uneducated and gullible, even calling them "drunk yahoos":
I am reminded of an old Joan Rivers joke about the fact that a UFO has never landed at Harvard or Yale or Stanford. It is always three yahoos in a pick-up drinking beer: "I saw it! There it was!" Church Militant, the Cardinal Newman Society, LifeSiteNews, these are the church's drunk yahoos and it has been clear for some time that Vigano sees eye-to-eye with these characters.
Winters then quoted fellow theological leftist David Gibson as saying about Viganò's testimony, "It shows that it's not just an old boys' network, but a clique of nasty, gossipy courtiers."
"That's something Francis has denounced," Gibson added.
Winters himself called Viganò's testimony "a coordinated attack on Pope Francis."
One of the prelates Viganò names in his testimony is Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago. Cupich issued a statement the next day that accused Viganò of confusing the sequence of events regarding Cupich's elevation to cardinal.
Cardinal Cupich also claimed that Viganò "personally participated in my installation ceremony in Chicago in November 2014 and personally presided at the imposition of the pallium the following summer."
Lastly, Cdl. Cupich doubled down on his insistence that homosexuality has little to do with the clergy sex abuse crisis. He cited a sentence in the 2011 John Jay Report where the authors argued that homosexuality is not a cause of the sex abuse crisis.
But the actual statistics in the 2011 report — as well as its 2004 predecessor — tell a different story. The initial John Jay Report released in 2004 stated that 81 percent of clerical sex abuse victims were male, and almost 90 percent were post-pubescent. The updated report in 2011 had similar findings: 81 percent of victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent.