VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is accusing Pope Francis of lying.
"What the Pope said about not knowing anything is a lie," the papal nuncio-turned-whistleblower told LifeSiteNews Tuesday, referring to the pontiff's recent comments claiming he knew nothing about Theodore McCarrick's homosexual predation.
"He pretends not to remember what I told him about McCarrick, and he pretends that it wasn't him who asked me about McCarrick in the first place," Viganò said.
Pope Francis gave an interview to Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki, published Tuesday, in which he claimed ignorance.
Of McCarrick I did not know anything, obviously, nothing, nothing. I said that several times, that I did not know, no idea. And when this person [Viganò] says he spoke to me that day, he came ... And I do not remember if he told me about this, if it is true or not. No idea! But you know that I did not know anything about McCarrick; I would not have kept quiet, right?
Pope Francis went on to compare his silence on the McCarrick matter to the silence of Our Lord before His enemies.
But this the reason for my silence: first because the evidence was there; you judge. It was an act of trust, really. And second, because of Jesus, that in moments of cruelty you cannot talk, because it makes things worse. Everything will go against you. The Lord taught us that path and I follow it.
The pontiff questioned the former nuncio's credibility, referencing a Milan court ruling that came down in favor of Viganò's brother in a property dispute.
"What Pope Francis said regarding the Milan ruling and my family has nothing to do with anything, because it has been completely clarified," Viganò said. "It was only a division of property between brothers. I accepted it to make peace. Neither me nor my brother appealed the ruling, so the story ended there. And it has nothing to do with McCarrick. It is one of the many stories that they raised to destroy my credibility."
Viganò has remained in hiding ever since publishing his bombshell testimony in August exposing the "homosexual current" in the Church that allowed a serial sexual predator like McCarrick to climb the ranks of the hierarchy and operate with impunity.
In his testimony, Viganò highlighted what he claims is the deceit of the current pontiff.
[T]he Pope asked me in a deceitful way: "What is Cardinal McCarrick like?" I answered him with complete frankness and, if you want, with great naiveté: "Holy Father, I don't know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance."
Church Militant has since reported on the long friendship enjoyed between McCarrick and Pope Francis, stretching back decades to Bergoglio's time as cardinal in Argentina.
McCarrick took a number of trips to Argentina to visit with seminarians from the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), founded by accused homosexual predator, Fr. Miguel Buela, who is no longer allowed contact with seminarians based on multiple allegations of homosexual assault.
McCarrick admitted in a 2013 speech at Villanova University that it was McCarrick's involvement with IVE that kickstarted his friendship with Bergoglio.
The pope's remarks were published the same day as startling testimony from Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, who released voluminous correspondence dating back to 2008 proving that Pope Benedict had imposed restrictions on Theodore McCarrick, including restricted travel and no public appearances, based on McCarrick's history of homosexual predation. The letters showed that Cdl. Donald Wuerl knew about the restrictions, in spite of his claims to the contrary, and that McCarrick ignored the penalties, traveling under the reigns of Popes Benedict and Francis, although his travel ramped up considerably under Francis.