Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin
Much is being made on social media today about Archbishop Georg Gänswein’s comments in which he said it is “fake news” to suggest that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI confirmed Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony on abuse cover up in the Vatican.
What Archbishop Gänswein said is entirely accurate: Any assertion that the Pope Emeritus had seen the entire testimony, and confirmed it, is untrue.
The Register also never reported this.
What we did report, given by an inside source close to Benedict in July, was that Benedict had issued measures against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick but was unable to remember their precise nature.
That has not been denied.
In that article, The New York Times interviewed and quoted Tim Busch, a board member of EWTN. And in comments attributed to him, but without quoting him directly, The Times reported that he told the newspaper that “leaders of the publication [the Register] had personally assured him that the former pope, Benedict XVI, had confirmed Archbishop Viganò’s account.”
Archbishop Gänswein, who is also prefect of the Pontifical Household, denied as “fake news” this assertion as reported by The New York Times, alleging that Benedict had “confirmed Viganò’s account.”
He also said Benedict had “no opinion” on the memorandum of Archbishop Viganò. It is not clear what memorandum he is referring to, as a number of memoranda are mentioned in Archbishop Viganò's testimony, and Archbishop Viganò never refers to Benedict’s penal measures on McCarrick as a “memorandum.” Archbishop Gänswein did not go into any more details, but he did not refute that Benedict issued sanctions.
The Register fully stands by its reporting, drawn on sources close to the Pope Emeritus, that sanctions or disciplinary measures were issued by Benedict against McCarrick.
Editors' note: The original article was amended to reflect this clarification: The Register's source close to Benedict XVI did not describe the actions against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as sanctions but as instructions or measures. Archbishop Viganò has continued to describe the measures as sanctions.