Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò endorsed the criticism that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed to the Holy See over its secretive agreement with China concerning the nomination of bishops.
Mr Viganò is a known conservative voice in the Catholic community who has been deeply critical of pope Francis in the past, known for his roles as chief Vatican diplomat to the US during the Obama administration and Secretary-General of the Vatican State Governorate.
He has been at the centre of several controversies, including the Vatileaks scandal. In 2018 he called on the pope to resign following his allegation that a host of high-ranking prelates conspired to cover up alleged sex abuse by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The archbishop threw his weight behind Mr Pompeo, who had recently published an article on the religious and conservative outlet First Things detailing how the Vatican risks losing its moral authority by dealing with a country with such a poor human rights track record.
In a conversation with Formiche.net, Mr Viganò said that “his lucid denunciation brings to light the aberrant Vatican attitude, the betrayal of the mission of the Church, the abandonment of the Chinese Catholic community out of sinister political calculation and the way it is in accord with aligned thought.”
The archbishop pointed out that “it is unclear why an agreement presented as absolutely transparent and devoid of any obscure points has been kept secret and cannot be read even by the well-deserving Chinese Cardinal, Joseph Zen.”
He then linked Mr McCarrick’s role in the drafting of the agreement to the secrecy surrounding his demotion to the lay state, arguing that “in both cases an operation of transparency and truth is urgent and necessary, because the honor and moral authority of the Catholic Church in the sight of the whole world is at stake.”
Furthermore, Mr Viganò associated his perceived decline of the Holy See – brought about by Christian progressivism and the Jesuits, such as the pope himself – with left-wing parties in Italy and the US alike, as well as with the “environmentalist and immigrationist claims of the globalist agenda” financed by philanthropists who “manipulate the political and economic fortunes of the planet with enormous funding.”
“It seems that the same agreement between the Holy See and the Chinese Communist regime has been financed by large annual donations from Beijing to the Vatican coffers that are in a disastrous state,” he argued , claiming that the economic damage dealt to the Church because of the lockdown would be compensated by “Chinese donations and the lucrative business of welcoming immigrants represent.”
In June, while the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic were engulfing the US, Mr Viganò penned a letter of support to president Donald Trump, who retweeted it, blessing his role as leader, fighting the “children of darkness” in the “eternal spiritual struggle between the forces of good and evil.”
“Why does the Vatican, which is silent in the face of the Democratic party’s support for abortion and the violation of the most basic human rights in China, consider the Trump Administration to have no right to interfere in an agreement that has obvious repercussions in the international political balance?,” argued the archbishop in his letter to Formiche.net.
He then slammed the “shameless siding” of the American Catholic Church with the Democrats – “so-called Catholic personalities” such as presidential candidate Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York State governor Andrew Cuomo – who “proudly support abortion and gender indoctrination, and all of them are proudly in favor of the Antifa and Black Lives Matter movements that are setting entire American cities on fire.”
“The Deep State, Trump’s sworn enemy, is joined by a Deep Church that spares no criticisms and accusations against the incumbent President while winking indecorously with Biden and [Black Lives Matter], slavishly following the narration imposed by the mainstream. It matters little that Trump is openly pro-life and defends the non-negotiable principles that the Democrats have renounced – the important thing is to transform the Catholic Church into the spiritual arm of the New World Order.”