Pope ‘begs forgiveness’ as archbishop accuses him of ignoring abuse

Monsignor John Kennedy with Pope Francis

Pope Francis vowed to pursue justice for victims of church abuse during his two-day trip to the country and has pledged to study an official memo about the property. Despite repeated requests from journalists, the Vatican had not responded to the allegations by midday August 26.

Archbishop Vigano criticized Pope Francis for not taking action against Cardinal McCarrick after he claimed he told the pope of the allegations in 2013.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl issued a statement Monday after the Vatican's former ambassador to the United States accused Pope Francis of effectively freeing ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the sanctions in 2013 despite knowing of McCarrick's sexual predations against seminarians. The accusations have created a crisis of confidence in the USA and Vatican hierarchy, because it was apparently an open secret that McCarrick regularly invited seminarians to his New Jersey beach house, and into his bed.

Archbishop Vigano claimed that then-Pope Benedict imposed unannounced sanctions on Cardinal McCarrick.

Francis said he had read Vigano's document and trusted journalists to judge for themselves.

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Both people, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss private discussions. Trump has always maintained he knew nothing of the meeting beforehand.

"Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church", wrote Vigano, who has criticised the pope before.

The Pontiff accepted McCarrick's resignation as cardinal last month, after a United States church investigation determined that an accusation he had sexually abused a minor was credible.

In the 11-page letter, which is being called a bombshell and a right-wing attack on Pope Francis, Archbishop Carlo Vigano called on the current pope to resign.

It reads: "The minister first told me something that didn't have too much to do with mother and children (Editor's note: mother and baby homes)". He said Pope Benedict XVI eventually sanctioned McCarrick in 2009 or 2010 to a lifetime of penance and prayer.

His letter also contained a lengthy diatribe about homosexuality and liberals in the Catholic Church.

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But in a second interview, he said last week that "the president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in". Such payments could be considered illegal campaign contributions under federal election law, according to experts.

The pope accepted the resignation of McCarrick, now 88, in July, making him just the second cardinal ever to lose his status. In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults. He travelled to Rome with the entire US conference of bishops for their once-every-five-year visit in 2012 and was even on hand for Benedict's final general audience in 2013.

On Sunday, Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people gathered in Dublin: "None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred".

Cardinal O'Malley has apologized for what he described as an administrative communication failure in which his secretary did not relay to him a 2015 letter from Father Ramsey about allegations against Archbishop McCarrick.

Vigano's statement railed against "homosexual networks present in the Church" - the word "homosexual" appears 18 times, while the word "child" appears only twice, in both cases in the titles of Church documents Vigano cites.

"The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject", Vigano wrote. No charges were filed.

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Zimbabwe's electoral commission declared Mnangagwa the victor three days after voting with 50.8 percent of the vote. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a news conference at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe , August 3, 2018.

The declining influence of the Catholic Church has been demonstrated by crowds far smaller than those that met Pope John Paul II during the last papal visit in 1979, when more than three-quarters of Ireland's population turned out.

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