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BISHOP VANN’S MESSAGE REGARDING THE TESTIMONY OF FORMER PAPAL NUNCIO, ARCHBISHOP CARLO MARIA VIGANÒ

8/29/2018

It was very difficult for me to read the eleven page testimony given by the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò on August 22, 2018 and released (in English) on August 25, 2018. Noting that the former second in command in the Apostolic Nunciature, Msgr. Jean Francois Lantheaume, has stated that Archbishop Viganò told “the truth,” I would add that I see Archbishop Viganò as a man of integrity, having known him for many years.

 

Given the grave accusations leveled by the former apostolic nuncio, I believe that it is necessary for the Holy Father to ensure that a competent investigation be undertaken swiftly. The truth of each accusation having been established, just penalties should be imposed upon those found guilty with the goal of repairing scandal and restoring justice. As Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, noted in his August 27, 2018 statement, “The letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.”

 

We renew our fraternal affection for the Holy Father in these difficult days. Please join with me in praying for all victims of abuse, especially those harmed by members of the clergy; and pray with and for Pope Francis during this difficult time as he always asks us to do. May justice be served.

 

In making this statement, I am joined by my auxiliary bishops, Timothy E. Freyer and Thanh Thai Nguyen.

 

 

Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, J.C.D., D.D.

Bishop of Orange in California

17 Responses to “BISHOP VANN’S MESSAGE REGARDING THE TESTIMONY OF FORMER PAPAL NUNCIO, ARCHBISHOP CARLO MARIA VIGANÒ”

  1. Mary Prather

    Thank you Bishop for acknowledging the seriousness of these unsettling revelations by high level clerics. In order to restore lay Catholics trust in Church hierarchy, these investigations must be looked into to bring out the entire Truth and justice served, not only for the victims of abuse but also the Holy priests scandalized by their corrupted bretheren. Ora pro nobis.

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  2. Jim Carlin

    The only questions, are did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, place Cannoical restrictions on Archbishop Mc Carrick, that Pope Francis removed, knowing Archbishop Mc Carrick’s history, and why Pope Benedict imposed said restrictions in the first place?

    Only the Pope deliberates and decides cases regarding fellow Bishops and Cardinals…who decides cases regarding present Popes?

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  3. Phillip Le

    I do agree that something needs to be done but the investigation will provide a nice windows dressing. Recall how long it took Enron to shred the paperwork. The church has almost 10 years to clean up the paper trail so who knows? Regardless, what will the church do next to eradicate the abuse situation to me is more important. I for sure don’t want to see the rule put in place to inadvertently accuse good priest. I use this statement from St. Augustine of Hippo to keep a balance in the current situation.
    “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” Augustine of Hippo

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  4. Alba Ramiro

    Gracias estimados Obispos por su transparencia y por la continuidad de transparencia en busca de justa resolución y sanción a la iglesia se Dios. En oración con ustedes. .

    Reply
  5. Laura

    Your Excellency,
    I am very relieved to see that you are calling for a competent investigation and for just penalties to be imposed were guilt is discovered. I never thought I’d see a crisis like this in our church. So many of the faithful are truly hurting at this time. So I am very grateful that you are calling for a monthly Holy Hour at Christ Cathedral. We desperately need it.
    However, I have a suggestion. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps you could ask every pastor throughout the diocese to call for a Holy Hour at each and every parish. Thank you.

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  6. James

    Nothing will happen unless you call the Cops first. Only the Constitution will protect you, Canon Law is not recognized by the Constitution.

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  7. Lisa Pellegrino

    Below is a beautiful, honest letter from the Archbishop of San Francisco. Are we going to here from Archbishop Gomez ever? Also, I agree we should be praying for Pope Francis but if he did what he is being accused of I do not want to stand with him. Children were hurt, seminarians were ruined, so many souls have been lost.

    Dear Faithful of the Archdiocese,

    Last Sunday witnessed what many are calling a “bombshell” in the Church: the publication of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s “Testimony,” alleging corruption and coverup at all levels of the Church based on his long and extensive personal knowledge.

    I came to know Archbishop Viganò well during the years he served as Apostolic Nuncio here in the United States. I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to “strengthen his brothers in the faith,” and who would do so at great personal sacrifice and with absolutely no consideration given to furthering his “career” – all of which speaks to his integrity and sincere love of the Church. Moreover, while having no privileged information about the Archbishop McCarrick situation, from information I do have about a very few of the other statements Archbishop Viganò makes, I can confirm that they are true. His statements, therefore, must be taken seriously. To dismiss them lightly would continue a culture of denial and obfuscation. Of course, to validate his statements in detail a formal investigation will have to be conducted, one that is thorough and objective. I am therefore grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for recognizing the merit of finding answers that are “conclusive and based on evidence,” and I join my voice to that of other bishops in calling for such an investigation and for taking any corrective action that may be necessary in light of its findings.

    I was named a bishop on July 5, 2002, three weeks after the USCCB meeting in Dallas that approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and still at the height of the drama of revelations of sex abuse of minors by clergy.

    At that time, I was asked to conduct a prayer service at the conclusion of a conference on family life hosted by the diocese that attracted participants from around the world. I met there an Australian priest with whom I was acquainted during our years of study in Rome, and he congratulated me on my appointment. I replied, “Thank you, but this is not a good time to become a bishop.” I will never forget his response to me: “But it is a good time to be a great bishop.”

    What he said to me then can be said to every Catholic at this time. The Church is in need of purification. Purification is always painful. My dear victims: you know this more than anyone; please know of our prayers and love for you, and that we continue to be here for you, to support you and help you to heal with the resources we have available.

    I believe God is beginning this painful process of purification for us now, but for it to work, we must cooperate. God has always raised up great saints in similar times of turmoil in the Church. I call on all of us to rededicate ourselves to prayer, penance and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so that God will bless us with this grace.

    Please know of my gratitude to you all: to you our priests, who remain close by your people, lending them support and pastoral care in this time of crisis; to you our deacons, who assist priests in this responsibility and bring the Gospel to those for whom it would otherwise be inaccessible; to you our victims assistance coordinators and to all who support victims on the painful path toward healing; to the faculty and administration of St. Patrick’s Seminary for your hard work in providing deep and healthy formation for our future priests for the renewal of the Church in our corner of the Lord’s vineyard, and to our seminarians for your fervor and generosity in responding to the Lord’s call of priestly service; and last but not least, to you, our people, for your prayer, for your love and concern for the Church, which now moves you to demand change that is effective and decisive, and for your support of our priests.
    May God grant us all the grace to be the agents of change and purification that He is calling us to be at this time.

    Sincerely yours in our Lord,

    Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
    Archbishop of San Francisco

    Reply
  8. Deacon Patrick Bartolic

    Your Excellency, most Reverend Bishop Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, and brother bishops, Bishop Timothy E. Freyer and Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen

    I both applaud and agree with your courage and integrity as our Ordinary and our Apostolic presence in the County of Orange at this most troubling moment in our Church… Christ’s Bride…✝️

    To say that many many of the faithful including both the ordained and laity are disappointed, if the letter shared by Archbishop Viganò is true, is a grave understatement. In fact many I have talked to are simply angry. Feeling lied to, robbed and cheated. There is no question that this kind of deceptive predatory sin, if true, can go unchallenged. This could not be worse.

    My prayers and hope is that other Bishops (like you) will continue to sustain the will and the courage to get to the bottom of these serious allegations, and ultimately-and finally find a solution that completely rids our church, as much as is humanly possible, of any more of this abuse of children, vulnerable seminarians, and others. It has no place in our Church. Indeed, I agree, it is, as you shared in your letter to the faithful two weeks ago,
    quoting:

    “The release of the Pennsylvania’s Grand Jury report yesterday confirms that we who lead the Church have a great responsibility to take action against a predation that can only be called satanic”

    Honest & Courageous words.

    Indeed this is a sick and abhorrent form of evil to all decent men and women… to all the faithful. And it completely undermines the great work of the multitudes of great and good Bishops, great and good Priests, and great and good Catholic’s… and it damages the moral authority of our Faith.

    The fact that it’s occurring at the highest levels of our church is unconscionable. It makes me simply want to stop and cry… it is simply horrendous.

    I would add, that the political correctness, the liberal/secular relativism that seems to have found even a foothold in the Mother Church, often presenting itself as some form of “Pastoral Tolerance”, and even at times masquerading as some form of “Social Justice” has found its way into too many places in our Holy Church, and added cover to these sins and difficulties. I believe the Church must always be pastoral and merciful, which is one of the greatest charisms of our faith. But never in the absence of truth. For real love, as we know, comes from God Himself, as was shared directly by Christ in His gospels, always points us to the Truth… even when it’s tuff to hear. More than ever, we need our eyes planted directly on that Truth… directly on Christ!

    We are at a crossroads. Real changes are necessary. This is not a time for half measures nor the faint of heart. It won’t be easy… I’m reminded now again, it was not easy for Christ to die on the cross for us either… but it will be worth it!

    Our Churches efforts must be completely transparent, and honest… painfully honest. To do otherwise suggests that sin (this sin) does not exist… and pretends truth does not either. We know it does.

    Christ’s Church was given us by God Himself to be a beacon of Truth, a beacon of Honor, a beacon of Justice, a beacon of real Love, of real Faith, and real Hope… always pointing, like a bright light in the darkness, for all of God’s Children, away from sin, and toward our Savior Jesus Christ!

    I am proud and privileged to serve you and the Church of Orange.

    Bishop Vann, Bishop Freyer and Bishop Nguyen… you are not alone… we are with you in your hope and prayer for our Holy Church. If there is a thing I can do, to help serve you in your/our efforts of transparency and truth, please let me know. I don’t believe you have any deacons on your newly formed “Oversight Review Board” (working to recommend ideas for better transparency) and I would gladly offer my name and my time in this most important and noble endeavor.

    Humbly Ordained by The Holy Spirit, thru your Holy hands Oct 28, 2017

    In prayer, may God Bless you and you brother Bishops, and may God Bless our Holy Church,
    Deacon Patrick Bartolic

    Reply
  9. sherida ruiz

    As a parent of an abused son by a priest, I believe, Bishop Vann, that you left out one very important step in your letter and that is any sexual abuse should be reported to the local police first.

    Reply
  10. joyce snyder

    The word JUSTICE has meaning only if used 1st when looking at these type charges. I want to see : “Call the police” and THEN the church hierarchy. This is what I see missing in all the rhetoric.

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  11. Sandra Ippolito

    Thank you Bishop Vann. Please keep the flock updated so we can hear accurate information from you and not rely completely on secular sources for our information.

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  12. Phoebe Wise

    Thank you for adding your voice to that of Cardinal DiNardo in asking the Holy Father to initiate a competent investigation of these charges laid out by Archbishop Vigano. Please do not stop demanding this until justice is served. We the laity will support you every step of the way.

    Reply
  13. marie diaz

    Thank you for your message. I don’t understand why our Pope is not open and very vocal on their support of the victims and their families; also on the fate of these “evil” priests. Yes, I consider them evil as I understand how damaging this damage can by not only the victim but the family and many generations that follow.

    The silence from our Pope is deafening and wrong.

    God bless.

    Reply
  14. Bill Hunt

    Thank you Bishop for acknowledging the credibility of Cardinal Vigano’s seriousness and for recognizing the need for a transparent investigation into the matter. Thanks also for your leadership at the USCCB Conference in Baltimore last week and declaring publicly that the Bishops can not afford to stand by and do nothing, despite the edict from Rome. I am happy to live in a Diocese that has not been plagued by sex scandals as others unfortunately have. It speaks to the leadership here, thanks much for being Christs’s Apostle for us!

    Reply

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