Pope Francis Won’t Confirm, Deny Knowledge of Abuse Claims Against Cardinal

Pope Francis refused Sunday to confirm or deny claims that he had been aware of sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for years, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter. The pope said the allegation against him, leveled by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on Sunday morning, “speaks for itself” and that he “won’t say a word about it.” In the 11-page letter, Vigano claims he personally told the pope that McCarrick had been accused of sexual abuse in 2013, five years before McCarrick was finally suspended. He also accused other high-ranking officials of systematically covering up accusations against the cardinal and called on the pope to resign in order to “set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses.” Vigano’s letter came near the end of the pope’s tour in Ireland, where he worked to repair the damage brought by the nation’s own clerical sexual abuse scandal.