After Pope Blames the Devil for Catholic Abuse Scandals, Many Push Back

After Pope Blames the Devil for Catholic Abuse Scandals, Many Push Back

After Pope Blames the Devil for Catholic Abuse Scandals, Many Push Back

The letter came the same day Pope Francis drew criticism for comments he made during a Mass in Rome.

Obviously, many Catholics are outraged that church leaders who seem to have ready answers for how laypeople should live and behave have been so slow to figure out a way to stop sexual abuse by clergy and to hold bishops and cardinals accountable for their personal behavior and for the cover-up. However, the president and vice president of the conference - Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles - are at the Vatican for the Synod of Bishops and are likely to meet the pope again today.

"I conclude, therefore that your accusations are a political frame job devoid of any real foundation", he was quoted as saying by AFP.

Cardinal Ouellet's letter, written with the approval of Pope Francis, was published the day after the Vatican said the pope had ordered a "thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively".

The Vatican was informed starting in at least 2000 about the seminarian complaints.

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Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation as a cardinal in July after a USA church investigation determined that an allegation that he groped a teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible. Francis asked Catholics around the world every week to devote a separate prayer to overcome Satan.

Cardinal Ouellet said in all his meetings with Francis about bishop nominations, he never heard him refer once to McCarrick as a trusted counsellor.

Archbishop Viganò claimed that the pope was aware of this situation, ignored it, and reinstated Cardinal McCarrick as a high-ranking member of the church. Adult priests and seminarians also claimed that McCarrick harassed them.

Vigano had implied that Francis, even after being informed about McCarrick's misdeeds, nevertheless rehabilitated him from "canonical sanctions" and made him a trusted counselor as he set out to remake the US bishops' conference.

Vigano released a second statement on September 29 saying that the Vatican has yet to respond to his accusations and that Francis has "compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church - though without ever uttering my name".

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The statement also said the bishops offer their prayers and solidarity for the pope at this time and urged everyone in the Church, "particularly the bishops", to reaffirm communion with Pope Francis, "who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church".

He said he understood that Archbishop Vigano might be bitter at the way his own career ended and his disagreement with Francis' policies.

"You can not end your priestly life in an open and scandalous rebellion that inflicts a painful wound" on the church and divides its people, he ended his letter.

Ouellet said the claims were "monstrous" and "blasphemous", telling Vigano in his letter, "Come out of hiding, repent for your revolt and return to better feelings towards the Holy Father instead of worsening hostility against him".

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