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 Next Pope — The Leading Cardinal Candidates” to be published August 2020 by Sophia Institute Press, and “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, published in 2015 by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin
President Donald Trump has responded to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s open letter to him published on Sunday.
“So honored by Archbishop Viganò’s incredible letter to me,” President Trump tweeted on Wednesday evening. “I hope everyone, religious or not, reads it!”
In his June 7 letter, Archbishop Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio to the United States from 2011 to 2016, praised President Trump’s leadership as he faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the protests over the death of George Floyd.
In his letter, Archbishop Viganò wrote of the formation in recent months of “two opposing sides” made up of “children of light and the children of darkness,” the latter of whom he said wish to “demolish the family and the nation.”
He equated the children of darkness with the “deep state” whom he praised Trump for “wisely” opposing. Such children of darkness conceal their “true intentions,” he said, and he blamed them for provoking the riots that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man, by Minneapolis police, not only in the U.S. but in Europe “in perfect synchrony.”
“It is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state and who expresses those goals faithfully and with conviction,” Archbishop Viganò said.
He then went on to say that such “opposing alignments” are also found in the Church, “mercenary infidels” whom, he said, “seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves.”
“Just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God,” Archbishop Viganò observed, adding that the Church and the world are facing a “spiritual battle” which he spoke about in his recent appeal.
The Italian archbishop then went on to note that “for the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship.”
He praised Trump’s participation in the March for Life (this year marked the first time a president had ever addressed the event in person) and his recent decision to make the month of April National Child Abuse Prevention Month. These were actions that “confirm which side you wish to fight on,” Archbishop Vigano said.
The former nuncio called criticism of President Trump’s visit to the National Shrine of St. John Paul II on June 2, the day the president signed an executive order to prioritize international religious freedom, a “part of an orchestrated media narrative,” which does not seek to fight racism or bring social order and justice, but rather promote factionalism and “legitimize violence and crime.”
Without referring explicitly to Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who criticized Trump’s shrine visit, Archbishop Viganò said it was “disconcerting” that some bishops “prove” through their words “that they are aligned on the opposing side.” In a separate letter published earlier last week, however, Archbishop Viganò directly criticized the Washington archbishop as a “false shepherd.”
Archbishop Viganò credited the American people for recognizing how much the mainstream media “seeks to silence and distort” the truth.
It is necessary, he said, “that the good, the children of light, come together and make their voices heard.” And he urged prayer as the means to do this, so that the “deceptions of the children of darkness will collapse.”
He closed his letter by stressing he was praying for Trump and “all those who are at your side in the government of the United States.”