Vatican Excommunicates Its Former Ambassador to the U.S.

The Vatican has taken the extraordinary step of excommunicating its former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, following his explosive allegations against Pope Francis and other top Vatican officials.

Viganò, who served as the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2011 to 2016, made headlines in August 2018 when he released an 11-page letter accusing Pope Francis of covering up sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Viganò also claimed that he had informed the Pope about McCarrick’s misconduct in 2013, but that Francis chose to ignore the allegations.

The letter sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church and led to calls for an independent investigation into the claims. However, the Vatican quickly dismissed Viganò’s allegations as “false, baseless, and out of context.”

In the wake of the scandal, Pope Francis convened a meeting of top Vatican officials to discuss the allegations and the Church’s response to the ongoing sexual abuse crisis. Viganò declined to attend the meeting, citing health reasons.

Now, the Vatican has taken the unprecedented step of excommunicating Viganò, effectively cutting off all formal ties with him and barring him from receiving the sacraments of the Church. In a statement, the Vatican said that Viganò’s actions were “motivated by personal animosity” and that he had “gravely harmed the Church and its hierarchy.”

The decision to excommunicate Viganò has sparked a fresh wave of controversy within the Catholic Church, with some supporters of the former ambassador accusing the Vatican of trying to silence him and cover up the truth. Others, however, have applauded the Vatican’s decision, saying that Viganò’s actions were divisive and harmful to the Church.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue, it is clear that the Vatican’s decision to excommunicate its former ambassador is a significant and unprecedented move. It remains to be seen what impact this decision will have on the ongoing sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church and on the relationship between Pope Francis and his critics.