ROME, January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — With a tone of fraternal and priestly charity, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has written an open letter to former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, encouraging him to publicly repent of his sins and thus to save his soul.
In the brief letter, dated January 13, 2019 and published in English and Italian (see full text below), Archbishop Viganò has also sought to persuade McCarrick that he has a unique opportunity to greatly benefit the Church with a public act of repentance.
“Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake,” Archbishop Viganò writes.
“A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church. Are you willing to offer her that gift?,” he adds.
The former U.S. Nuncio’s open letter comes after reported disclosures from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that McCarrick’s case is being handled via a stripped-down administrative process — called an “administrative penal process” — that is expected to conclude before the Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse in February.
Such an “administrative penal process,” which canon law reserves for cases where the evidence is so strong that a full trial is deemed unnecessary, suggests that the odds of a conviction are very high.
Theodore McCarrick is accused of molesting three boys — the youngest beginning at age 11 — and at least eight seminarians in dioceses he formerly led. If convicted, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. would be removed from the clerical state.
In June 2018, following reports of alleged sexual abuse of a minor, McCarrick, 88, issued a statement saying: “While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people.”
McCarrick is currently residing at the St. Fidelis Capuchin Franciscan Friary in Victoria, Kansas.
Here below is Archbishop Viganò’s open letter to Theodore McCarrick. (Download a PDF of the English translation here, and of the original Italian here.)