VIGANÒ, A YEAR AGO. THE VATICAN IS STILL SILENT. AN ENCOUNTER WITH MOYNIHAN.
26 Agosto 2019
Exactly one year ago, on 26 August 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published his testimony in Italian, Spanish and English on the McCarrick affair, on the complicity and friendships and favors that the former American cardinal had enjoyed for many years. up to and including the pontificate. It was gesture of great courage that would have completely changed his life. Bishop Viganò still lives in hiding, from which he sometimes comes out with statements and documents. In the most recent occasion he gave a written interview to the Washington Post, and then he made known the two questions of the interview that the newspaper had not published: one relating to cases of abuse occurred in the pre-seminar in Rome, and the other concerning the past of the current Deputy to the Secretariat of State, Msgr. Pena Parra.
The budget, one year from his witness, from the point of view of the Holy See, and of the Pontiff, appears extremely disappointing, in spite of recurrent proclamations on transparency. If all the public interventions in these twelve months have confirmed the veracity of what was reported by Msgr. Viganò – the tirade against him of card. Ouellet, recently confirmed after his age term, who admitted the existence of sanctions by Benedict XVI; the letter of the then Substitute Sandri to the rector of a US seminar; the memoirs of the former McCarrick secretary, Msgr. Figuereido, not to mention that three – the answers beyond the Walls were non-existent, or incredible.
The Pope first said he did not want to say a word; then, interviewed several months later by Valentina Alazraki, he tried to spread a bit of discredit on the archbishop, hinting at family problems, and even hinting at the hypothesis that the complaint had been made for money. And finally he said – really beyond the credible – that he didn’t remember if Vigano had told him about McCarrick! When he himself had asked the question, and he had received a response so dramatic and devastating that oblivion simply is not possible.
For the rest, night and fog. McCarrick was liquidated with an administrative procedure – a process of another kind would have been embarrassing, would have brought to light complicity and friendships – the investigation promised many months ago about McCarrick documents in the Vatican archives is nowhere to be seen, the Apostolic inquiry requested by the American bishops on the case was immediately denied, and the many people called into question by Viganò as co-responsible – former Vatican hierarchs – have carefully refrained from denying … In short, a total coverage that casts a heavy discredit on the real will of this regime to shed light on abuses. As some of the choices the Pontiff has made also show.
Meanwhile – the news is a few weeks old – Robert Moynihan, director of Inside the Vatican – met Archbishop Viganò by accident. Here is his story.
Monday, July 29, 2019
“Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” —Hebrews 13:14
Today after a long journey I met Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in a quiet place.
We greeted each other with joy and I asked him how he has been during the past year.
“Better than I deserve,” Vigano replied, laughing, adding with a smile, “Cardinal Deskur used to answer that way.”
He looks very good.
“So you have been well?” I asked.
“I have been well, yes, thanks be to God,” Vigano said. “I have been visiting with various friends, and the Lord has given me good health to be able to continue my mission.”
“You have not been seen for nearly a year,” I said. “Have you been in hiding?”
“I have tried to live in silence,” Vigano said, “avoiding the noise of the world.”
“What would you like to say to those who have been wondering where you are and if you are safe?”
“I would say them that we priests and bishops are only human, with many deficiencies, as we try to carry out our duty to represent Christ.”
“What is your deepest prayer?” I asked.
“My deepest prayer,” Vigano said, “is ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’”
Vigano suddenly fell silent as if filled with an unexpected emotion. His expression changed. His eyes began to glisten as if with incipient tears.
“You are weighed down with many thoughts,” I said, trying to be supportive.
Vigano took a deep breath and began to speak.
“The memory is certainly one of the major gifts we have received from the Lord,” he said. “He made us able to have impressed in our minds the most beautiful experiences that we have been living. And for me certainly, my memory is helping me, in the sense that one of the first memories that I have, was being carried in my mother’s arms, when I was about two years old, down into a bomb shelter during the bombardment of Milan during the Second World War. There was a little image of Our Lady there, with a light, and we started praying the rosary, with all of my brothers. This deep, emotional memory of Mary left its mark throughout my life. I remember that in those years we prayed the rosary every evening after dinner, all together, my father being just back from his work, and able to pray with us, sustaining those of us who had started sleeping. I remember how beautiful that was, to pray all together to Our Lady, Our Mother. To be in my mother’s arms and to be praying, in the shelter. So I am saying that a devotion to Our Lady has always been reassuring me, continually, from the beginning.”
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