And his anti-pontificate needs to end.
There are multiple questions stemming from multiple cases in question, and while they are getting some coverage in the secular media, there doesn't appear to be any significant response from the Vatican to the charges, nor any real intense follow-up. Journalists just put the information out there as some kind of fact from past history and move on.
So let's start at the beginning.
When Abp. Viganò released his first testimony last August, revealing some names of the homosexual current here in the Vatican, he also stated emphatically that Pope Francis knew McCarrick had been penalized and sidelined by Pope Benedict but resurrected McCarrick despite his homopredator past.
One by one, liberal media, including liberal Catholic media like John Allen at Crux, downplayed Viganò's confession saying it should be taken with a huge grain of salt. But as the weeks wore on, it became clear on point after point that Viganò was correct on every last claim he made.
So what we had at that point was a pope who, knowing full well about McCarrick's homopredator past, raised him back up to prominence and influence — a man who, a just a few years later, he would have to dismiss from the clerical state when his crimes became more widely known than just inside the walls of the Vatican.
That the Pope himself would personally do this with full knowledge was so disturbing that intrepid journalists and investigators started checking into his past to see if he had covered up for or protected any other clergy — or even promoted them.
So going back to his native Argentina and South America, reporters started surfacing other cases involving then-Abp. Bergoglio's involvement of covering up for predator clergy.
One involved Fr. Julio Grassi, serving a 15-year sentence for sexual assault of minors — convicted in 2009 — a case which shook Argentina. In 2010, Abp. Bergoglio set out on a financially costly, multi-year defense of Grassi to help him on appeal, producing a series of lengthy books declaring him innocent and the charges of the victim, Gabriel, lies.
The appeals wound through the court system until 2016 when the country's supreme court upheld Grassi's conviction. The thing is, through all this, Grassi was never under any Church jurisdiction of Bergoglio. Grassi was not in Bergoglio's diocese nor was Bergoglio his bishop.
To this day, despite appeals from Gabriel, Pope Francis has never offered an apology or even word of comfort.
In another case that saw international criticism of the Pope, he had to publicly apologize for backing a Chilean bishop, Juan Barros, who he has himself appointed to the southern diocese of Osorno.
Barros had covered for homopredator priest Fernando Karadima, the most prolific abuser of young boys in the nation. The Vatican itself ruled him guilty in 2011.
But what later came to light is how the Pope's pick for bishop, Juan Barros, had covered for the priest's crimes. When people in the diocese went ballistic over Francis naming Barros as their bishop, the Pope struck back in fury, defending Barros and insulting the people, calling them essentially liars.
He said to the Chilean people that what they were saying was slander and added this, which is key: "You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven't seen any, because they haven't come forward."
That would prove to be a lie. In 2015, years earlier, Cdl. Sean O'Malley had placed directly into the hands of the Pope a letter from the victim detailing the account of his sexual assaults by the priest Karadima. O'Malley admitted as much when press reports brought details to light.
So the Pope knew, years earlier, that Karadima was a homopredator priest and that Bp. Juan Barros covered for him, and the Pope still tried to press his appointment of Barros as bishop and lied about and insulted the people. He later apologized, and that was that.
In another case coming more to light, Pope Francis appears to have tried to cover for a predator bishop from the diocese of Oran in Argentina by creating a cushy job for him here at the Vatican. Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta is accused of sending nude photos of himself from his phone masturbating, entering the rooms of his seminarians at night and sexually harassing them as well as a number of cases of financial improprieties.
These charges made their way to the Vatican in 2015, and Zanchetta went to Rome to defend himself. Sources say he was able to convince the Pope that the nude pictures on his phone were photoshopped and fake. No one has been able to verify that claim.
But with regard to the seminarian issue, the internal report presented to the Vatican read: "[Zanchetta would] watch seminarians in their rooms at night with a flashlight, ask for massages, go into their rooms and sit on their beds, encourage them to drink alcoholic beverages, and had certain preferences for those who were more graceful [looking]."
The Vatican and the Pope knew about these charges between 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Pope Francis brought Zanchetta to Rome and created a post for him out of thin air in the office which handles the Vatican's real estate investments.
Again, since this has all made its way into the mainstream media reports — and only because of that — Zanchetta has been removed from his comfortable position as a Church investigation gets underway.
This precisely why any discussion at this past week's sex summit of abuse of seminarians had to be completely shut down by Cdl. Cupich and Abp. Scicluna. It would have directly implicated the Pope because Zanchetta abused his own seminarians and the Pope knew all about it — a direct line.
Then there is the case of the man nicknamed the "Vice Pope" because of his closeness to Francis, Cdl. Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga. Maradiaga found himself in a gigantic scandal for defending and covering up for one of his auxiliary bishops, Jose Juan Pineda, who 50 seminarians of Maradiaga's accused of homosexual predation.
Maradiaga blasted the reports as untrue — despite loads of credible evidence — and remains firmly ensconced here in Rome as the Pope's number two despite his defense of Pineda, who was also accused of massive financial impropriety the year before in a report that had been given to Pope Francis.
Yet, Maradiaga not only left him in place amidst all these charges, he actually promoted Pineda to administrator of the diocese when Maradiaga himself was back and forth in Houston, Texas for cancer treatments.
Late last year, Pineda submitted his resignation to the Pope with not a word from Maradiaga, not any substantive official explanation given nor any apology from either Maradiaga or Pineda to the almost 50 seminarians who had to suffer the abuse and then undergo it again as the Pope's number two man attacked them while the Pope sat by and did nothing.
There is a pattern here with Pope Francis that many Catholics are saying is simply too much and he must go. Archbishop Viganò, who had not spoken of these charges, concluded on just the information about McCarrick that Francis should resign.
As what these — and what many Catholics around the world are expecting to be even more cases — continue to be brought forward, the question of the Francis papacy has to be revisited and openly discussed.
The men around the Pope are cover-up artists who staged a phony summit to protect any more information about McCarrick coming public. Others are accused of their own cover-ups like Maradiaga and Gracias. But even the Pope himself has covered up these sins and crimes.
This papacy is going down in flames, and it's happening fast. Whether he resigns or not, the cause of this massive collapse is the homosexuality accepted and protected by Francis and his cronies and massive culture of cover-up that almost every cardinal around him participates in — from Cupich to Wuerl to McCarrick to Maradiaga to Tobin and the list goes on.
The next pope — whoever and whenever — needs to give all these men the McCarrick treatment and bust them all down to the lay state, where many of them would end up behind bars for their sins and crimes.
In fact, we should all pray that Pope Francis does that himself and then resigns, signaling the reform he promised when he stepped out on that loggia almost six years ago will finally come to the Church, just not on his pontificate.
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