In August 2018, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States published an 11-page letter accusing dozens of church officials of a systemic cover-up for former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his serial sexual abuse of seminarians and calling for Pope Francis’ resignation.
Yet when Pope John Paul II visited the United States in 1995, he began his tour in Newark, New Jersey, where he was welcomed by McCarrick, then the city’s archbishop, at Sacred Heart Cathedral. More than 5,000 miles away, in Argentina, the future Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was only then an auxiliary bishop.
For more than two years, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s missive has fueled speculation over who in the United States and in Rome knew about McCarrick’s predatory patterns of behavior and who might have enabled him. Since the publication of the letter, its author has been widely discredited and has been shown to have been complicit in allowing the former cardinal to continue in ministry.