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A right-wing Catholic archbishop who once served as the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States has accused Pope Francis of heresy for promoting the “legitimization of homosexuality.”
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who is known for his anti-gay views and has previously called on the pope to resign, made the charge in a recent interview with Italian journalist and Vatican expert Marco Tosatti.
In that interview, Viganò, who refers to the pope by his given name and refuses to use his official title, claims that Pope Francis, a.k.a. “Jorge Bergoglio,” is involved in a ploy to “corrupt” the church by promoting homosexuality, according to Newsweek.
“For Bergoglio and his entourage sodomy is not a sin that cries out for vengeance in the presence of God, as the Catechism teaches,” said Viganò. “Bergoglio’s words on this topic — and even more the actions and words of those who surround him — unfortunately confirm that an operation of legitimization of homosexuality is currently underway.”
Current church teaching is that engaging in homosexual acts, even if done in the context of a civil marriage, are sinful, although Pope Francis has adopted a softer tone by not outright condemning gay or lesbian individuals as irreparably irredeemable — which apparently isn’t enough for Viganò.
The church continues to oppose homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and the Vatican has made no changes to church doctrine to indicate that it its softening its stance on those issues.
Additionally, Francis has been remained in line with church teaching when it comes to transgender individuals, opposing efforts to change one’s gender identity, based on the belief that each person’s body was created by God in his image, as he intended.
“Let’s not forget that the legitimization of homosexuality is part of the agenda of the New World Order — to which the Bergoglian church adheres openly and unconditionally,” Viganò reportedly said in the interview.
“Not only for its destabilizing value in the social body, but also because sodomy is the principal instrument with which the Enemy intends to destroy the Catholic priesthood, corrupting the souls of the Ministers of God.”
Viganò regularly traffics in conspiracy theories, including that China intentionally created and released the COVID-19 virus to destabilize the world, that there is a “gay lobby” within the Roman Catholic Church, that the now-defrocked former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick brokered an agreement with the Chinese government condoning the persecution of Chinese Christians, and that there is a “deep church” that promotes both homosexuality and pedophilia, which he insists are inextricably linked. In Vigano’s mind, the “deep church” operates like the U.S. “deep state,” and secretly works against efforts to reform it.
It was Viganò who arranged for Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis — who, it should be noted, is not Catholic — to meet privately with Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to Washington, D.C., sparking a political controversy in the United States due to Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
According to a New York Times story, an abuse survivor who has spoken with Francis at length claimed the pope was angered by Viganò’s meddling, claiming that the meeting with Davis undermined what was supposed to be an inclusive message during his trip to the United States. The incident led the pope to ultimately demand Viganò’s resignation.
Last month, Viganò sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, denouncing those who are concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, and Black Lives Matter protesters, framing both issues as a struggle between the “children of the light” and the “children of the dark,” who he claims are working to elect someone who “embodies the goals of the deep state” in November.
Viganò’s letter offended some Catholics in parishes who shared the letter on their social media pages, who see the archbishop of undermining the Pope and creating divisions among Catholics over contentious political issues.
Cathleen Kaveny, a professor of law and theology at Boston College, told the National Catholic Reporter that churches who shared the letter aren’t necessarily endorsing Viganò’s apocalyptic language, but are simply trying to pressure American Catholics to vote for Trump over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November’s election.
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