A growing number of American Catholics are calling for an investigation into the allegations that Pope Francis ignored Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s record of sexually abusing priests, seminarians, and laypeople, including minors. Some Catholics are even calling for the pope to resign.
The calls from Catholic bishops, organizations, and media outlets for Pope Francis to be investigated and/or resign have come after the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, released an 11-page affidavit Saturday alleging that Pope Francis turned a blind eye to McCarrick’s behavior.
Viganò’s affidavit specifically claimed that Pope Francis lifted Pope Benedict’s “canonical sanctions” on the disgraced cardinal imposed between 2009-2010 that forbade him from interacting with the public in an official capacity, and Viganò alleged Francis did this despite knowing of the serious allegations against McCarrick.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), released a statement Sunday calling for an impartial investigation into the allegations against Pope Francis.
“The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination,” Cardinal DiNardo wrote in a statement posted Sunday on the USCCB website.
Other bishops throughout the U.S. soon followed, with bishops from Oklahoma, Texas.Wisconsin, and California releasing statements calling for an investigation into the pope. All the bishops said the allegations from the former Vatican nuncio to the U.S. were credible.
Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, who serves as the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and was formerly the prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, said in an interview with local Italian media published Wednesday that Viganò’s calls for Pope Francis’ resignation are “not wrong” and that an investigation into the allegations against the Pope is “necessary.”
Some Catholic organizations are also voicing their agreement with Viganò’s call for Pope Francis to resign his office as the bishop of Rome.
LifeSiteNews, a pro-life Catholic news site, started a petition calling the faithful to support Viganò’s expose of Pope Francis and other high-ranking members of the church. As of Wednesday evening, the petition gained more than 6,000 signatures.
Louis Murray, president of the board of Boston Catholic Radio, penned an op-ed in theBoston Herald Monday calling on Pope Francis and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to resign.
“What I now say to both Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean is, for the good of the Church, please resign,” Murray said.