An Italian cleric, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, has reiterated the need for Pope Francis to leave office. He insisted that the papal office had been soiled by certain actions and inactions of the current pope.
He argued that the pope knew for years about sexual misconduct by an American cardinal and did nothing about it.
Vigano, who triggered a crisis in the Catholic Church by calling on Pope Francis to resign, on Friday denied he acted in revenge.
Vigano has gone into hiding since his 11-page statement and has been communicating through Aldo Maria Valli, an Italian television journalist.
Reacting, the cleric was quoted as saying: “I have never had feelings of vendetta and rancour in all these years.
“I spoke out because corruption has reached the top levels of Church hierarchy,” said Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to Washington.
Italian media has reported he was upset because he was never made a cardinal by former Pope Benedict or because Francis blocked his promotion.
In his controversial statement, Vigano accused a long list of current and past Vatican and U.S Church officials of covering up the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month in disgrace.
One of the people he attacked in the statement is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was Secretary of State under former Pope Benedict.
On his flight home from Ireland last Sunday, Francis told newsmen he would “not say one word” about the accusations.
“Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves,” he said.
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