As usual, the messenger who delivers unwanted news is attacked to discredit his news.
Heidi Schlumpf (I love Low German names) at the leftist National Catholic Reporter:
Many, including more progressive Catholics, questioned Vigano’s credibility, because he has been implicated in covering up alleged sexual misconduct by former St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt.
Others pointed out that Francis had replaced Vigano as nuncio after he was involved in the papal meeting with controversial Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis during the pope’s visit to the U.S. in 2015. New York Times religion reporter Elizabeth Dias noted on Twitter that “Vigano and Francis have been political enemies.”
Michael Shawn Winters, also at the National Catholic Reporter, has an objective headline: “Vigano letter exposes the putsch against Pope Francis”:
Vigano’s tissue of misinformation will leave its mark. In the midst of a feeding frenzy, no one stops to ask basic questions and even journalists can forget to undertake basic tasks like asking for corroboration or looking at the questions a text such as Vigano’s poses. Here are a few of my questions:
Vigano says he must unburden his conscience now. Why now? If he felt as disturbed by the filth as he claims to have been, why did he not say anything publicly or at least speak to the bishops conference? I recall a few years back, at a meeting of bishops’ conference, sitting outside the ballroom in Baltimore chatting with a monsignor from the nunciature. He was waiting for Vigano who was in the executive session of the bishops’ meeting. Why did he say nothing then?
Vigano is a disgruntled former employee. Such people are always a bit angry. They are also often a bit unreliable. He was always a crackpot. But, make no mistake: This is a coordinated attack on Pope Francis. A putsch is afoot and if the U.S. bishops do not, as a body, stand up to defend the Holy Father in the next 24 hours, we shall be slipping towards schism long before the bishops meeting in November. The enemies of Francis have declared war.
(BTW can’t NCR afford accents?)
Notice Winters’ focus is not on the truth or falsehood of Viganò’s accusations, but on Viganò’s motives and character. A person may not have completely clean hands and may still tell the truth. In fact, those who know damning truths usually do not have completely clean hands.
Viganò has an agenda, and he focuses on the failures of Francis, who is, after all, the current pope, rather than on the egregious failures of John Paul II, who, after all, is dead. As for me – a pox on both their houses. Both popes failed sexual abuse victims, both allowed the evil to fester.