Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an influential figure in the Catholic church, has published a lengthy letter, asking Pope Francis to step down. He is among the growing number of voices to suggest that the pope resign.
The letter alleges that Francis knew about abuse allegations facing a cardinal named Theodore McCarrick years ago, yet did not punish him. McCarrick resigned recently once more allegations were made public.
From The New York Times: “Archbishop Viganò claimed that the Vatican hierarchy was complicit in covering up accusations that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians and that Pope Francis knew about the abuses by the now-disgraced American prelate years before they became public. Yet, the letter contended, Francis did not punish the cardinal, but instead empowered him to help choose powerful American bishops.”
In the letter, Vigano wrote, “In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church. He must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”
The pope is currently in Ireland, where he has issued apologies as hundreds of news cases of alleged child abuse allegations—and church cover ups—have come to light.