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Viganò Snubs Vatican's Disciplinary Summons

Updated: 3 hours ago

Speculation grows on prelate's links with traditionalists after episcopal re-ordination



Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an outspoken critic of Pope Francis and former papal ambassador to the United States, is facing excommunication and defrocking after he refused to attend a disciplinary hearing at the Vatican. 


The Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog, sent a legal summons to Viganò, ordering him to appear at an "extrajudicial penal trial" to answer charges of the canonical crime of schism at the Palace of the Dicastery of the Faith at 3:30 p.m. on June 20.

The high-profile clerical abuse whistleblower refused to attend the DDF trial at the former Holy Office of the Inquisition, categorically stating in a press release on June 21 that he had "not gone to the Vatican" and he had "no intention of going to the Holy Office on 28 June." 

The DDF has advised the archbishop that "he will be judged in his absence" if he does not appear before the court or submit a written defense by June 28. 


In a defiant statement, Viganò said that he had not delivered "any memorial or document in my defense to the Dicastery, whose authority I do not recognize, nor that of its Prefect, nor of those who nominated him."   


The DDF summons also accuses the prelate of refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the current incumbent of the See of Peter, and rejecting the authority and authenticity of the Second Vatican Council.  


"I have no intention of subjecting myself to a show trial in which those who should judge me impartially to defend Catholic orthodoxy are at the same time those whom I accuse of heresy, betrayal and abuse of power," Viganò stated. 


"And among them there are precisely the Jesuits, the first proponents of all the moral and doctrinal deviations of the last sixty years, starting with that James Martin SJ, an LGBTQ+ activist who was so assiduous in Santa Marta," he added. 


Addressing the pope by his surname "Bergoglio," the archbishop turned the accusations of "schism" directed at him against Francis and what he described as the post-Vatican II church, accusing the pontiff and the conciliar church of departing from the Catholic faith. 


"The whole question centers on which 'church' to which Bergoglio belongs and on the de facto schism from the true Church that he has already accomplished over and over again with his declarations, with his acts of government and with his very eloquent behavior of open hostility to everything Catholic," Viganò declared. 

"Bergoglio's 'church' is not the Catholic Church, but that 'conciliar church' born from Vatican II and recently the subject of rebranding with the name no less heretical than 'synodal church,'" the prelate emphasized. 

"If it is from this 'church' that I am declared separate for schism, I make it a source of honor and pride," he concluded.   


In his earlier response to the DDF summons sent to Souls and Liberty, Viganò compared himself to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) — a splinter movement with tenuous links to the papacy, noting how "fifty years ago, in that same Palace of the Holy Office" Lefebvre "was summoned and accused of schism for rejecting Vatican II."


The SSPX was created in 1970 by Lefebvre, who first came to attention when he refused to sign the Vatican II statement on Religious Liberty and the Church in the Modern World.


“His defense is mine; his words are mine; and his arguments are mine — arguments before which the Roman authorities could not condemn him for heresy, having to wait instead for him to consecrate bishops so as to have the pretext of declaring him schismatic and then revoking his excommunication when he was already dead,” the archbishop added. 


In January, multiple traditionalist blogs, as well as the news portal of the German Episcopal Conference, reported that Viganò had been conditionally re-consecrated as a bishop in 2023 by the English bishop Richard Williamson who was expelled from the SSPX. 


Williamson, one of the four bishops ordained by Lefebvre against the wishes of Rome, is a well-known antisemite and Holocaust denier, who was fined 12,000 euro ($16,870) by a district court in the southern German city of Regensburg in 2010.  

 

Father John Rizzo, who was a student at the SSPX seminary in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 1983, when Williamson served as rector, confirmed the bishop's openly antisemitic rhetoric. 


"He said it [the Holocaust] was a pack of lies, that we shouldn't fall victim to a type of public sympathy toward the Jews," Rizzo told NPR.

 

Speculation on whether Viganò will team up with either Williamson or the SSPX in an informal network of resistance against Pope Francis is increasing after the society's leadership issued a "letter to friends and benefactors" on June 19, explaining that it would need to consecrate new bishops. 


Since the SSPX does not recognize Viganò's episcopal ordination in the new post-Vatican II rites, it would have been necessary for him to be re-ordained to ensure the validity of his episcopal orders if he is to be accepted or aligned with the SSPX or the radical traditionalist movement. 

"Archbishop Viganò has taken some attitudes and some actions for which he must answer," Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin told Italian media on the sidelines of a conference at the Pontifical Urbanianum University hours after Viganò had submitted his defense.

"I am very sorry because I always appreciated him as a great worker, very faithful to the Holy See, someone who was, in a certain sense, also an example. When he was apostolic nuncio he did good work. I don't know what happened," Parolin concluded. 

  

Dr. Jules Gomes, (BA, BD, MTh, PhD), has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently a Vatican-accredited journalist based in Rome, he is the author of five books and several academic articles. Gomes lectured at Catholic and Protestant seminaries and universities and was canon theologian and artistic director at Liverpool Cathedral.


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3 Comments


ville1960
ville1960
Jun 25

They can excommunicate him from the Church but not from Catholism and Christianity! And those latters are which really matters. 👍✝️😎

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Parolin doesn't know what happened, he says. Vigano says he knows what happened, and talked about it. That is the difference. Better to talk about what you know, than to say you know nothing, and to end up like Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi. Now maybe Michele and Roberto talked, but I did not hear what they had to say. Roberto was found with bricks in his pockets hanging from Black Friar's Bridge, his death ruled a suicide. I am very grateful to have ratted on drug pushing doctors, a list of them I can tell you. If you don't rat on them, they have you fitted for cement shoes. It is your choice. Vigano made a wise cho…

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In addition to all the reasons given here, Vigano would very likely receive the same fate of Archbishop Pell who languished unjustly in solitary confinement for over a year.....or possibly even get 'Epsteined'. Faggetabotit.


How about answering the Dubia, Holy Father; then we'll talk.

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