What You Need to Know: Pope Francis

Pope won’t ‘say a single word’ about call for him to resign

Pope Francis told reporters Sunday that he “will not say a single word” about a retired Vatican diplomat’s call for him to resign for his handling of sexual abuse allegations against a cardinal in June 2013, CNN reported.

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Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States, said there was a “conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the Mafia,” The Irish Times reported.

Vigano said he told the pontiff about allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013, adding that Francis took no action, CNN reported.

Vigano’s call for the pope’s resignation came during the second day of Francis’ visit to Ireland.

In an 11-page document, Vigano claimed the pope knew that McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, “was a corrupt man, (but) he covered for him to the bitter end.”

The pope accepted McCarrick’s resignation last month after new claims that the cardinal sexually abused an 11-year-old altar boy and seminary students, the Times reported. The pope also ordered McCarrick, 88, to conduct “a life of prayer and penance” until a church trial could be held. 

McCarrick claims he is innocent of the charges, the newspaper reported.

The pope said Vigano’s statement speaks for itself, CNN reported.

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"I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely ... read the statement carefully and make your own judgment," Francis said.

Vigano’s actions come in the wake of the pope dealing with revelations from a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed sexual abuse over seven decades.

The grand jury report found that more than 1,000 minors had been sexually abused by more than 300 Catholic priests.

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