President Trump Tweets He’s ‘Honored’ by Archbishop Viganò Letter
Former U.S. Nuncio’s Letter to President One of Several Recent Apocalyptic Writings.
DENVER — President Trump on June 10 tweeted that he was honored by a letter written to him by former apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò, which warned the president against secular and ecclesiastical agents of an atheistic globalist new world order.
The president’s tweet is the latest in a series of events that have kept the archbishop in the headlines for much of the last two years, a period in which he has become a polarizing figure in the Catholic Church.
“So honored by Archbishop Viganò’s incredible letter to me. I hope everyone, religious or not, reads it,” Trump tweeted, linking to Archbishop Viganò’s recent open letter addressed to the president.
Archbishop Viganò’s missive to Trump is one of several open letters and interviews the archbishop has published in recent weeks, which make apocalyptic claims about a looming spiritual battle and a globalist conspiracy pursuing a one-world government, alongside a denunciation of the Second Vatican Council, claims about the third secret of Our Lady of Fatima, the charge that some bishops are “false shepherds,” and encouragement that at least some Catholics disobey their bishop.
The June 6 letter said “it appears that the children of darkness — whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days — have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans.”
“They seem to be so certain of already having everything under control that they have laid aside that circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions,” Archbishop Viganò wrote.
“The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the Covid emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations,” he added.
Archbishop Viganò, 79, is retired from any official ecclesiastical position. A long-time member of the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, he worked in positions in the government of the Vatican City State before, in 2011, he became apostolic nuncio, or papal representative, to the U.S. He held that position until 2016.
In his letter to Trump, he claimed that “just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God.”
The archbishop praised Trump, claiming that “both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons,” and adding that criticism of Trump’s June 2 visit to the National Shrine of St. John Paul II is part of an “orchestrated media narrative” against the president.
Archbishop Viganò added that some bishops, including Washington’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who criticized Trump’s visit to the shrine, are “subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.”
Archbishop Viganò did not offer proof to support the claims in his letter, nor has he offered proof to support the claims of his recent letter on the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 7, Archbishop Viganò published an open letter written principally by himself but signed by several Church leaders, which said the coronavirus pandemic had been exaggerated to foster widespread social panic and undercut freedom, as a willful preparation for the establishment of a one-world government.
That letter criticized social distancing and stay-at-home orders issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting they were contrived mechanisms of social control, with a nefarious purpose.
“We have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of restriction on freedoms, of controlling people and of tracking their movements,” the letter said.
The letter did not identify the “powers” in question or the source of Archbishop Viganò's information.
Among the letter’s signatories were three cardinals and one sitting U.S. diocesan bishop, as well as Father Curzio Nitoglia, a priest of the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist group in “irregular communion” with the Church. Father Nitoglia is the author of “The Magisterium of Vatican II,” a 1994 article that claims that “the church of Vatican II is therefore not the Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of a Vatican dicastery, was originally listed as a signatory to the letter, but distanced himself from the letter after it was published.
Weeks before that letter, in April, Archbishop Viganò gave an interview in which he declared that the Vatican has been for decades concealing the third secret of Fatima, despite the publication in 2000 of the third part of Mary’s message from the apparition at Fatima, by order of Pope St. John Paul II, and despite an accompanying theological commentary written by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.
Having discussed both Fatima and the coronavirus pandemic already, in June Archbishop Viganò penned his missive to Trump, and a letter on the Second Vatican Council.
That letter criticized ecumenical and interreligious efforts of Pope St. John Paul, claiming that Pope’s Assisi prayer gatherings “initiated a deviant succession of pantheons that were more or less official, even to the point of seeing Bishops carrying the unclean idol of the pachamama on their shoulders, sacrilegiously concealed under the pretext of being a representation of sacred motherhood.”
Most significantly, Archbishop Viganò suggested that the Second Vatican Council catalyzed a massive, but unseen, schism in the Church, ushering in a false Church alongside the true Church. The Council, Archbishop Viganò claimed, has led to a “serious apostasy to which the highest levels of the Hierarchy are exposed.”
The archbishop did not specify those Church leaders whom he believes are “exposed” to apostasy, which is the total repudiation of the Catholic faith.
In a June 3 letter, however, Archbishop Viganò singled out Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who the day before had criticized Trump. Archbishop Gregory’s Archdiocese of Washington, Archbishop Viganò wrote, “has been and continues to be deeply afflicted and wounded by false shepherds whose way of life is full of lies, deceits, lust and corruption. Wherever they have been, they were a cause of serious scandal for various local Churches, for your entire country and for the whole Church.”
Archbishop Viganò also urged archdiocesan Catholics to disobey Archbishop Gregory.
No U.S. bishops had responded to Trump’s tweet of Archbishop Viganò’s letter, or to the letter itself, a fact that some critics have attributed to an aspect of clerical culture in which bishops are reluctant to criticize one another in public.
The former U.S. Nuncio made international headlines in 2018 when he published an 11-page “testament” accusing several senior bishops of complicity in covering up the sexual abuse of McCarrick, claiming that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, but chose to repeal them.
In the months that followed, some aspects of Archbishop Viganò’s claims were vindicated, though in some cases it became clear that Viganò’s language was imprecise or exaggerated. Other aspects of his claims are likely to be unverifiable unless the Vatican addresses them in its comprehensive report on McCarrick, whose release has been anticipated for months.
But Archbishop Viganò’s original missive also called for the resignation of Pope Francis, and made allegations about the sexual orientation and activities of numerous church leaders, suggesting a homosexual “current” or network of bishops who assured mutual promotion and protection of one another.
After exchanging public and polemical correspondence Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop Viganò began releasing letters on varied topics, including the conclave that elected Pope Francis, 2019’s pan-Amazonian synod, and other issues.
Viganòs letters were initially met with a great deal of public support among lay and clerical U.S. Catholics, but he did again not garner considerable mainstream Catholic attention again until controversy surrounding a disagreement with Cardinal Sarah over his coronavirus letter, and his subsequently released letters, including the one addressed to Trump.
No U.S. bishops had responded to Trump’s tweet of Archbishop Viganò’s letter, or to the letter itself.