The first anniversary of the Testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is upon us today. That document, and the events that followed this bombshell, say a great deal about the crisis now facing the Church.
It’s a crisis of truth, of grave immorality and cowardice, of unaccountability by Church hierarchs, of powerful clerics resisting revelation of facts known to them, but hidden from the faithful. It’s a crisis of the ongoing refusal to come clean about what was known about Theodore McCarrick and others, and why decisions were made that protected men who were known to have done great evil, and yet continued to enjoy favor and protection.
On August 22, 2018 Viganò wrote: “Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.”
These words are not unlike what Pope Francis himself had written two days earlier in his Letter to the People of God (August 20th): “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
He went on to endorse the zero tolerance and accountability measures being implemented, too slowly, around the world: “We have delayed in applying these actions and sanctions that are so necessary, yet I am confident that they will help to guarantee a greater culture of care in the present and future.”