Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has urged Archbishop Theodore McCarrick to publicly repent of his alleged “crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians,” saying “time is running out” and that his “eternal salvation is at stake.” 

Writing to the former archbishop of Washington D.C. on Jan. 13, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Archbishop Viganò said “no matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters, and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you, is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance.”

Archbishop Viganò said he was “among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church,” and added that McCarrick “paradoxically” had this “gift” of repentance to bring healing to the Church.

The former nuncio to the United States, who published a detailed testimony last August claiming that Church leaders from Pope Francis down had failed to take necessary action against McCarrick for alleged abuses against priests and seminarians, began his letter by drawing attention to “news” that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had almost completed an “administrative” penal procedure, and that McCarrick would therefore be “judged very soon.” 

“Time is running out,” Archbishop Viganò continued, “but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public.” 

“Your eternal salvation is at stake,” Archbishop Viganò added.

The former nuncio, who revealed in his August testimony that he and his two predecessors had notified the Vatican of Archbishop McCarrick’s “gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests,” also said in his letter that “something else of great importance is also at stake.” 

“You, paradoxically, have at your disposal an immense offer of great hope for you from the Lord Jesus; you are in a position to do great good for the Church,” Archbishop Viganò said. 

He added that McCarrick, being in a position to publicly repent, was something “more important for the Church than all of the good things you did for her throughout your entire life” as it would “bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church.”

“Are you willing to offer her that gift?,” Archbishop Viganò wrote. “Christ died for us all when we were still sinners,” he said, citing Romans 5:8. “He only asks that we respond by repenting and doing the good that we are given to do.” 

He implored McCarrick to make such an act of repentance “so as to make the Church rejoice and present yourself before the tribunal of Our Lord cleansed by His blood.”  

“Please, do not make His sacrifice on the cross void for you,” he said. “Christ, Our Good Lord, continues to love you. Put your entire trust in His Sacred Heart. And pray to Mary, as I and many others are doing, asking her to intercede for the salvation of your soul.” 

Archbishop Viganò closed with the Latin words: “Maria Mater Gratiae, Mater Misericordiae, Tu nos ab hoste protege et mortis hora suscipeʺ — Mary Mother of the Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect us from the enemy and welcome us in the hour of death.

 

Abuse Allegations Against McCarrick

Pope Francis suspended Archbishop McCarrick from public ministry last June, pending the completion of a canonical process against him.

The former archbishop of Washington D.C. has been “credibly” accused of sexually abusing a 16 year-old altar boy in a New York church nearly 50 years ago. 

In July, a Virginia man, James Grein, also came forward to say McCarrick abused him for years, starting when he was 11. It also emerged that the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen had reached out-of-court settlements in the 2000s with several adult men who alleged they were sexually abused by McCarrick during their time as seminarians. 

The Pope accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July. 

Last week, Grein said that the Vatican’s judicial process was now underway, having testified before an investigator representing the Church. The Vatican has said it will not reveal any details about the process until it is concluded. 

CNA reported Jan. 7 that the Vatican was using an “administrative penal procedure,” more rapid and stringent than a regular canonical one, suggesting clear evidence the archbishop had committed an ecclesiastical crime. 

Grein has alleged that McCarrick also committed acts of abuse in the confessional, a crime that can lead to laicization. 

Here below is the full text of Archbishop Viganò's letter:

***

 

Letter to McCarrick

 

Dear Archbishop McCarrick,

As has been reported as a news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure. 

No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance.  I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church.

Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.

But something else of great importance is also at stake.  You, paradoxically, have at your disposal an immense offer of great hope for you from the Lord Jesus; you are in a position to do great good for the Church.  In fact, you are now in a position to do something that has become more important for the Church than all of the good things you did for her throughout your entire life.  A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church.  Are you willing to offer her that gift?  Christ died for us all when we were still sinners (Rom. 5: 8).  He only asks that we respond by repenting and doing the good that we are given to do.  The good that you are in a position to do now is to offer the Church your sincere and public repentance.  Will you give the Church that gift?

I implore you, repent publicly of your sins, so as to make the Church rejoice and present yourself before the tribunal of Our Lord cleansed by His blood. Please, do not make His sacrifice on the cross void for you. Christ, Our Good Lord, continues to love you. Put your entire trust in His Sacred Heart. And pray to Mary, as I and many others are doing, asking her to intercede for the salvation of your soul.

“Maria Mater Gratiae, Mater Misericordiae, Tu nos ab hoste protege et mortis hora suscipeʺ. Mary Mother of the Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect us from the enemy and welcome us in the hour of death.

Your brother in Christ,

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

 

Sunday, January 13, 2019 

The Baptism of the Lord

Saint Hilary of Poitiers