An Archbishop in Hiding, And a Pope Denying Everything

An Archbishop in Hiding and a Pope Denying Everything, PDF format

The Open Letter that Shook the Vatican

  Readers will recall that in August 2018, the global Roman Catholic institution was shaken by the revelations and allegations of a retired archbishop, Carlo Maria Viganò, who wrote an open letter accusing the Jesuit pope, Francis I, of a cover-up of priestly sexual abuse scandals rocking the Vatican.

  In two previous articles I provided an in-depth analysis of all these goings-on: the first, Top-Ranking Vatican Insider Accuses Francis I of a Cover-Up,[1] and the second, Vindicated: Vatican Insider who Accused Francis I of a Cover-Up.[2]  Both are available on the Bible Based Ministries website.

  Viganò claimed that Francis knew of the sexual molestations of young seminarians by a former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, and yet did nothing about it.  In his letter he also wrote of sodomite crimes by priests against children and young men, the Vatican’s conspiracy of silence to protect guilty priests and bishops, and corruption at the highest Vatican levels.  He called for the homosexual networks within the Roman Catholic institution to be eradicated.  He spoke against the Jesuits – the evil Order to which Francis himself belongs.  And he called on Francis to resign.

In Hiding from Vatican Agents

  There was an immediate and massive backlash against Viganò, from implicated prelates, pro-Francis prelates, and the Jesuits. Viganò went into hiding, and there was reason to believe that Vatican agents began a massive hunt for him., the website of Roman Catholic journalist and ex-seminarian, Michael Voris, published a report at the time entitled: “The Hunt for Viganò: Vatican Spies Tracking Whistleblower.”  It said:

  “Vatican officials are on the hunt for Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò.

  “According to sources within the Vatican, the Secretariat of State for the Holy See – under the direction of Pietro Cardinal Parolin – has communicated an instruction to its internal and external security services to use its ‘intelligence resources’ to locate the physical whereabouts of Abp. Viganò.

  “This request has been communicated not only in order to prevent more unpredictable damage to the image of Pope Francis and the Holy See on the world stage, but also to ‘prepare the terrain’ for the former apostolic nuncio-turned-whistleblower to be prosecuted for alleged multiple crimes against Vatican and Church law…

  “News of the Vatican deploying its vast international resources to track down and prosecute Abp. Viganò are consistent with his assertions made to [veteran Italian Roman Catholic Vaticanist] Aldo Maria Valli on their final encounter: that Viganò had ‘purchased a plane ticket,’ that he was ‘traveling abroad,’ that he ‘could not tell [Valli] where,’ that Valli ‘should not try to find him,’ that ‘his old cellular number will no longer be functioning,’ and that they ‘saluted each other one last time.’

  “Viganò, in saying goodbye to Valli, appears to have known exactly what the worst elements of the Vatican and its agents are capable of.  Let us hope he has taken every necessary precaution from falling into the hands of those who would wish him ill.”[3]

After Months of Silence, Francis Denies the Accusations – Repeatedly

  When Viganò first issued his accusations, Francis himself remained silent.  Indeed, he said he said he would not comment at all on Viganò’s allegations.

  But on 28 May 2019, many months later, Francis finally broke his silence and did comment.  Unsurprisingly, he denied knowing anything about the cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, and the allegations that he had sexually abused seminarians.  But the way Francis denied knowing anything about it was most interesting.  This is what he said in an interview:

 “About McCarrick I knew nothing.  Obviously, nothing, nothing.  I said it many times, I knew nothing, I had no idea.  And when he [Viganò] says that he spoke to me that day, that he came… and I do not recall if he spoke about this, if it is true or not.  I have no idea!  You know that I, about McCarrick, I did not know anything, otherwise I would not have remained silent.”[4]

  To paraphrase those well-known words: “methinks the man doth protest too much!”  Eight times in that short speech, Francis denied knowing anything.  It smacks of a guilty conscience.  It certainly is overkill.

  From his hiding place, Viganò responded to Francis’ vehement denials.  He remained adamant that he had told Francis about McCarrick’s behaviour as far back as 23 June 2013.  Therefore, “What the pope said about not knowing anything is a lie,” Viganò said.  “He pretends not to remember what I told him about McCarrick, and he pretends that it wasn’t him who asked me about McCarrick in the first place.”[5]

  For an archbishop to call his own pope, the man believed to be the Vicar of Christ on earth, a liar: Viganò must be very certain of his facts.

  Francis also suggested that Viganò was unreliable as a witness, because he had been involved in a court battle with his own brother concerning the management of their inheritance.  This was a “shoot the messenger” tactic on Francis’ part. Viganò replied by saying that the court battle had “no relevance to the allegations regarding Cardinal McCarrick.”[6]  And he was absolutely right.

  “What Pope Francis said regarding the Milan ruling and the family has nothing to do with anything, because it has been completely clarified.  It was only a division of property between brothers.  I accepted it to make peace.  Neither me nor my brother appealed the ruling, so the story ended there.  And it has nothing to do with McCarrick.  It is one of the many stories that they [i.e. the Vatican and Francis’ advisors] raised to destroy my credibility.”

Still in Hiding Many Months Later

   The Washington Post recently interviewed Viganò (not in person, not even by phone, but by email), and published the interview on 10 June 2019.  It said:

  “In the instant he became one of the most controversial figures in modern Catholic Church history, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò went dark. 

  “The retired Vatican ambassador to Washington wrote a bombshell letter last summer calling on Pope Francis to resign on the grounds that he had tolerated a known sexual abuser.  As that letter was published, Viganò turned off his phone, told friends he was disappearing, and let the church sort through the fallout.

  “Nine months later, in his first extended interview since that moment, Viganò refused to disclose his location or say much about his self-imposed exile.”

  Viganò well knows the danger his life is in!  The Jesuits are not above committing murder when they deem it necessary.  This is the diabolically evil religio-political institution which arrogantly calls itself the Church of Christ on earth.  An institution where even its own leaders live in fear of their very lives when they break ranks and speak out against its abominations.  Nothing has truly changed since the Dark Ages.  Rome still persecutes whenever she can get away with it.  Viganò knows it.  This is why he is in hiding.  He said in the interview that he had become “more careful about whom I meet and what I say.”  When asked by email where he was living, he wrote “N/A.”  Likewise when he was asked if he believed his safety was under threat.  A man who feels no fear for his safety would say so, openly and vehemently.

The “Gay Mafia” in the Roman Catholic Priesthood

  In the interview he said that the priestly sexual abuse crisis would be far less severe if “the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed.”  Again, he was absolutely correct.

  “”Given the overwhelming evidence,” he wrote, “it is mind-boggling that the word ‘homosexuality’ has not appeared once, in any of the recent official documents of the Holy See” on events dealing with the sexual abuse of youth.

  He added that a “gay mafia” among bishops who were intent on protecting themselves was “sabotaging all efforts at reform.”

  For example, he cited an exchange from a Vatican press conference in February, when a journalist asked an archbishop, Charles Scicluna about a case in Argentina.  This press conference was held during what was supposed to be a very important abuse summit at the Vatican.  When Scicluna started to answer, the Vatican spokesman interrupted, saying that the press conference was not the time to “focus on individual cases.”  Commenting on this incident, Viganò wrote: “One may be forgiven for wondering whether the results of an honest and thorough investigation really will be released, and in a timely fashion.  There is a certain irony here: This exchange happened while [the summit organisers] were discussing what they themselves called transparency.”

  He also wrote: “The results of an honest investigation would be disastrous for the current papacy.”

  Regarding his open letter of August 2018 which started it all, Viganò said that in retrospect, he would have softened his call for Francis to resign.  He now leaves open the possibility that Francis could repent, but that he should resign “if he refuses to admit his mistakes and ask for forgiveness.”

Francis to His Nuncios: Do Not Criticise Me

  Then on 13 June 2019 Francis held a meeting in the Vatican with all the nuncios of the Roman Catholic institution – over 100 of them, active and retired.  Nuncios are the men who serve as the pope’s ambassadors around the world.  Francis’ prepared speech included “ten commandments” for men who wished to be “good nuncios.”  And one of those “ten commandments” stated that a good nuncio would not “criticise the pope behind his back”.  Here are his words:

 “A good nuncio cannot be a ‘hypocrite’ and engage in back-stabbing.  It is irreconcilable, therefore, to be a pontifical representative while criticising the Pope behind his back, to have a blog or even unite with groups hostile to him, the Curia or the Church of Rome.”[7]

  Taken at face value, there is nothing in this remark that is…well, remarkable.  It is demanding no more than what any president of any country would demand of his ambassador.  But although innocent enough in itself, it was well understood by Vatican observers to be a very “loaded” remark in truth.  They understood it to be a lightly-veiled criticism of Carlo Maria Viganò.

  The reasons for believing these words were a reference to Viganò are: firstly, because his accusations shook Francis and the Vatican and the repercussions have continued to be felt ever since; and secondly, because Francis’s prepared speech came just days after The Washington Post published its interview with Viganò.

  Although these remarks were part of Francis’ prepared speech, he did not actually read them, because he departed from the prepared text and spoke off the cuff to the nuncios.  But that hardly matters, since the prepared text was handed out to the nuncios anyway.  It would appear that Francis intended these remarks for the nuncios, but not for the general public.  Hence his extemporaneous remarks, while at the same time giving his ambassadors the prepared remarks.


  We are witnessing the true, wolf-like nature of the Jesuit pope who has fooled the world into believing he is a lamb, in fact an easy-going, affable teddy bear.  And at heart, the Vatican he presides over is the same as it has always been: intolerant, persecuting, deadly.  In this 21st century, a man –one of their own – is in hiding from Vatican agents.  It is like something out of those dark historical times when the Inquisition hunted down those it deemed to be heretics.  This is the “habitation of devils” (Rev. 18:2) which the world blindly refers to as the Roman Catholic Church

July 2019

Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

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[1]. Shaun Willcock, Top-Ranking Vatican Insider Accuses Francis I of a Cover-Up, September 2018.  Available on the Bible Based Ministries website:

[2]. Shaun Willcock, Vindicated: Vatican Insider who Accused Francis of a Cover-Up, April 2019.  Available on the Bible Based Ministries website:

[3]. Church Militant, September 7, 2018.  Article: “The Hunt for Viganò: Vatican Spies Tracking Whistleblower.”

[4]. Robert Moynihan, The Moynihan Letters, June 10, 2019.  Article: “Viganò and the Post.”

[5]. Moynihan, June 10, 2019.

[6]. Moynihan, June 10, 2019.

[7]. Robert Moynihan, The Moynihan Letters, June 14, 2019.  Article: “The Good Nuncio.”