Interview with Fr. Michael Rodríguez

A Disturbing Self-Revelation

Fatima Perspectives #1308

In my last column on the explosive interview of Pope Francis by Valentina Alazraki, I noted the observation by LifeSiteNews that the reason Francis remained silent concerning the j’accuse of Carlo Maria Viganò concerning his rehabilitation of ex-Cardinal McCarrick and told the press to investigate the matter themselves, was apparently his hope that the press would find a way to assassinate Viganò’s character on the basis of a family dispute with his brother, Father Lorenzo Viganò, over a large inheritance.

The full text of the interview confirms that this was exactly Francis’ intention (translation mine):

Q: The McCarrick issue brings me to another issue that I wanted to address with you. You advised me on one of your last trips to read “Letters of Tribulation”: I read them, I did my homework. I very often met the word ‘silence’ and the explanation of how sometimes silence is necessary. According to you, it’s almost like a moment of grace. But telling a journalist that silence is necessary … 

Do not laugh, Pope Francis, it is so. I remember when they told you, eight months ago: there is a statement by former nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò who says he himself told you at an audience at the beginning of your pontificate who McCarrick was, and you did nothing, you just said: “I will not answer, you judge, I will answer in due time.” That silence has weighed a lot, because for the press and for many people, when one is silent, it is like between husband and wife, isn’t it? Your husband pecks you on the cheek and doesn’t answer you, and you say: “Something is wrong here.” So why the silence? The time has come to answer that question that we asked you on the plane, more than eight months have passed, Pope Francis.

A: Yes, those who made Roman law say that silence is a way of speaking. This case of Viganò, I had not read the whole letter, I saw it a little … and I already know what it is, and I made a decision: I trust in the honesty of journalists. And I said to you: “Look, you have everything here, study and draw conclusions”. And this you did, because you did the work, and in this case it was fantastic. I took great care not to say things that weren’t there but then he said them, three or four months later, a judge in Milan when he sentenced him [Viganò].

Here Francis freely admits that he was counting on the press to dig up dirt on Viganò in the hope that his claims would thus be discredited by way of an invalid argumentum ad hominem.  The interview continued in that vein:

Q: The question of his family [inheritance], do you mean?

A:  Sure. I kept silent because I would have been throwing mud. Let journalists find out. [That is, let the journalists throw mud!] And you discovered it, you found out that whole world. It was a silence based on trust in you. Not only that, but I also told you: “Hold on, study it, that’s all.” And the result was good, better than if I had started to explain, to defend myself. You judged the evidence at hand.

The result was good, says Francis.  Indeed, “it was fantastic.” He publicly expresses delight with what he thinks was a successful smear campaign against his accuser.  The truth of Viganò’s accusation does not matter in the least.  This is the modus operandi of a cheap politician, not a Roman Pontiff.

LifeSiteNews demolished Francis’ clumsy appeal to character assassination in a report detailing how the dispute over the inheritance was settled when Viganò’s brother was awarded only €1.8 million despite his initial demand of €40 million, and that neither brother appealed the award, bringing the matter to an end. Lorenzo “received essentially what he would have received had he accepted the settlement proposals made by his brother, pro bono pacis, in the course of the proceedings.” 

Worse, during the interview Francis proceeds to add the further calumnious suggestion that Viganò might have been paid to make false accusations against him: “Some of you even wrote that it [Viganò’s open letter] was paid for, I don’t know, I don’t know though.”  You know, my accuser might be a paid liar, but I’m not sure.

Sandro Magister skewered Francis’ claim that he “had always kept quiet” about the property dispute between the Viganòs “so as not to ‘sling mud’ at the ex-nuncio,” only to bring it up publicly himself along with the unfounded “suspicion of a secret pay-off” — thereby “badly, completely contradicting himself” regarding his patently disingenuous expression of concern for Viganò’s reputation.

What does it say about this Pope that he would air a grave accusation he knows to be unfounded in the hope of discrediting a credible witness against him?  It says the current occupant of the Chair of Peter will descend to the dirty tricks of politicians in order to defend his own image.

The humble Pope?  If this is humility, then words have lost their meaning.


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