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Vifgano Cupich

Over this past weekend, I published two rather lengthy posts on this blog, i.e. “The Confused Cardinal” and “The Road Trip”. For those that had the time to read them, these two posts dealt not so much with the ‘child abuse scandals’ per se, scandals that have been plaguing the Catholic Church since the Aggiornamento of the early 1960’s, but more with the present day response of the Catholic hierarchy when dealing with these types of incidents. And if one read the two posts attentively, one would realize that the Catholic Church is really not dealing with this issue. Sure, when sued, the local ordinaries defend themselves and their institution. And when they lose in court, the ordinaries release the funds to pay the settlement, accompanied by a whinging comment about how they “feel the victim’s pain”. Whether the pain is real or imagined is an entirely different matter. Recently, we even have a phenomenon whereby the ordinaries settle out of court with an accompanying public relations campaign, in a process that appears to have more to do with building their public image then with anything else and at the cost of the institution to which they formally have a fiduciary responsibility. But hey, it’s not their money, and if a con artist gets a settlement along with real victims, it obviously is a price worth paying for these “dialoging” types. But to actually try and prevent the situations from arising in the first place… well … like they say in Brooklyn: Fahgettaboudit.

And that is the subject of today’s post: The Lukewarm Nuncio


Speaking of feeling someone’s pain, I really feel the pain of the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. For those of you dear readers who do not know the cause of Archbishop Vigano’s pain, I will try to enlighten you below. Here’s the skinny.

From what appeared in the Italian press circe 2011 (see here) , the poor Archbishops pain was the result of losing what can be described as a turf war inside the Roman Curia. But instead of silently accepting his defeat and moving on, the Archbishop took the quite irregular action of writing detailed letters to not only Benedict XVI but also to Benedict’s  Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone. In these letters, the good Archbishop denounced his opponents. When these letters were received by the intended parties, investigations ensued, investigations which found that the poor Archbishop’s evidence was rather “lacking”. Not only were the charges that there was/were a plot(s) against the archbishop baseless, but in the mean time a television documentary was made about the incident, promoting surprisingly enough, the point of view of our Archbishop, titled: The untouchables. Just to give you dear reader a flavor for the storyline of the program ” The untouchables”, here is the quote from Magister’s blog (see here):

Corbellini, [quasi-supporter of Vigano] who was deputy secretary general of the governorate of Vatican City-State from 1993 to 2011, and began his ecclesiastical career in the shadow of Salesian cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara [crypto-salesianism strikes again? (see here)] (who for his part did a great deal to open doors for Tarcisio Bertone, an ordinary priest at the time) appeared to the viewers to be the one most willing, with silences and smiles rather than with clear statements, to confirm the basic premise of the broadcast: that Viganò, the moralizing loner, had been driven out, at the behest of Cardinal Bertone above all, for his stubbornness  in enforcing the norms of transparency and honesty.

Oh my. An honest and transparent cleric relieved of his duty during the Benedictine papacy? But I digress…

Needless to say, Archbishop Vigano could have been “honest and transparent” and many other things, but untouchable he was not. And the consolation prize that he received for coming in second place in the turf war was exile to Washington D.C. in the U. S. of A.

Just to get a feel for the outcome of this little incident and the promotional televised documentary, lets return to the comments from Sandro Magister at the Chiesa blog: (emphasis and [comments])

The strongest argument in the statement used against the premise of the broadcast [Vatican’s response to the premise of the broadcast] is the fact that in place of Viganò, Benedict XVI did not appoint someone with a reputation as a deal maker [oh my, implication that Vigano is a “wheeler dealer bishop”? –> COLD Christian, yes?] For definitions see here], but a churchman of great juridical competence and undisputed personal honesty: Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, known to and appreciated by Bertone, but also personally esteemed by Benedict XVI and his personal secretary, Georg Gänswein.

So all’s well that ends well. The COLD Christian “wheeler dealer” Archbishop Vigano is “promoted” and goes into exile in Obama’s Washington. Napoleon should have been so lucky.

The Washington Years

Even though he Archbishop received a very important position close to the center of power in the capital of the most powerful nation on earth, it wasn’t really the kind of power he wanted to be close to. What the Archbishop wished for under each of his Christmas trees in each of the passing years was a return ticket to that 340 square mile plot of land resting just west of the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, i.e. the Vatican. And it really didn’t have anything to do with being closer to… shall we say …. a Higher Power. No, what the good Archbishop really, really wanted was what was promised to him. Magister explains just what was promised to him:

On the other hand, the statement could not remind Viganò that it is not permissible for him to complain about the failure to fulfill a promise that he would succeed Lajolo as president of the governorate of Vatican City-State, assuming that such a promise was made to him. Nor could it set out in black and white that such promises cannot be made by someone, like the secretary of state, who does not have the power to do so. Such appointments, in fact, belong only to the pope.

So this incident just looks like one big misunderstanding. The Archbishop thought that something was said or implied, but what he thought was said or implied could not have been said or implied since “such promises could not be made by anyone”.

Fast forward to February and March of 2013, sitting at the D.C Nuncture at 3339 Massachusetts Ave, with a lovely view of magnolia trees and the blossoming cherries in springtime, the Archbishop keenly observing what was happening at that “other center of power”, where the view was one of cobblestone streets, the peeling stucco of palazzo facades and the occasional potted palm tree… and a resignation that was taking place. So being the pro-active type, as per your typical “wheeler dealer” Cold Christian, he decided that his fortune might have changed. Besides, he had support of the “crypto-salesians” as per Magister’s text, and the head of the “crypto-salesians” was now the salesian Vice-Pope. So the Archbishop latched onto the skirt of the goddess of fortune as she passed by. To explain, I will defer you dear reader over to the Rorate Caeli blog and the very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace to provide the details (see here):

Cupich’s [Yes, we are speaking about Blase “Francis pulls a rabbit out of his mitre” Cupich] promotion to this particularly important position, that usually entails the elevation to the cardinalatial red, was a personal decision of Pope Francis himself. More precisely, the Pope imposed his candidate on Cardinal Ouellet and the Congregation for Bishops, under the desperate suggestion of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò. We know well that those men who are particularly authoritarian, such as Francis, also are, in many cases, easily manipulated by those who learn how to read them. Moreover, it is enough to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another, because he has kept against the Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura an extremely strong rancor after the 2013 conclave, in which the American Cardinal was one of those who tried to thwart his path to the pontificate.

And that is how Bishop Cupich was made installed.

Ah, but what do we have here? A COLD Christian Vigano getting the HOT Christian Cupich appointed in Chicago! This would place Archbishop Vigano somewhere between the HOT and COLD extremes on the HOT/COLD Christian Continuum, or in other words, in the space populated by LUKEWARM Christians. But I digress…

Before we move on to the subject at hand, we still need to explain the motivation behind the actions of our Archbishop. And here I will allows don Padre Pio to explain:

For Abp. Viganò, 73 years old, time is pressing, because there are almost no chances left for him to become the head of a Congregation. But to achieve a nomination such as that of Blase Joseph Cupich to Chicago makes one’s reputation.

And obviously, for a highly motivated 73 year old Archbishop, a reputation and a favor done for Francis could just be the ticket… not only back to Rome, but to the red zucchetto as well.

For those interested in the trial and tribulations of our good Archbishop, you will find the essentials in the above links that I have provided. However, we now need to move on to the subject of this post.

Not more letters?

As we have observed from the above text, the Vatican nuncio to the U.S. likes writing letters. However, receiving them is an entirely different matter. Over the course of the Bishop Finn Visitation, an anonymous letter writer and contributor to the Eponymous Flower blog has sent several letters to the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. I will allow the EF contributor/letter writer explain (see here):

… as Cardinal Sean [O’Malley] wrings his hands about Bishop Finn in Kansas City and demands an accounting, firing warning shots, there’s a Monastery in the Midwest with hundreds of victims and probably the highest concentration of sexual predators in the world. One reader writes that he has contacted the Nuncio in Washington, has contacted the local ordinary, the Abbot, and the Bishop of St. Cloud (Himself a St. John’s byproduct). Despite contacting them on two occasions, including letters, he has received no answer, no response to his letters, just silence and nothing changes.

Hmmm.The new ordinary of St. Cloud is a “St. John’s byproduct”? Very interesting.

So what can one make of this situation with the delivery of the letters. Can’t blame this on the US Postal Service. Can’t blame this on AT&T and the break up of Ma Bell into the baby Bells. Can’t blame this one on being “lost in the translation” like in the case of the English translation of the Bugnini N.O. rite. The caller spoke English and the called spoke English, or so one must assume.

So there obviously is a problem of a “failure to communicate” at one end of this conversation.


Summa Summarum

In the concluding passage of both the “The Confused Cardinal” and “The Road Trip” posts, the following passage appears:

It is plain for all to see that the sex abuse scandals are really of a secondary importance. What is important is the power and prestige that comes with the positions. And in these time, with a pontiff like the present one, it appears that what’s important is whatever Francis fancies on any given day.”

To further support this contention, from the above material we can make the following inferences:

Writing letters and contacting the Vatican’s nuncio to the U.S. with respect to “sexual abuse of minors” cases is for all intents and purposes an exercise in futility. Not only because the present Nuncio, Archbishop Vigano has his own, and it needs to be added, a rather personal agenda, i.e. a return ticket to the Vatican, but more importantly because the good Archbishop can “read” the mind of our “authoritarian” pope very well. And what message Archbishop Vigano reads is the following: don’t bother me with “petty child abuse sex cases”, what really interests me is “to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another”. In other words, if it’s not about the Great Cardinal, Francis doesn’t want to hear it.

Next, the relative easy with which Vigano was able to install the “crypto-salesian” Cupich in the archdiocese of Chicago is also telling. Looks like “correctly reading the mind of Francis” can get you results in spite of the expressed objections of the Prefect and Congregation for Bishops that is responsible for these appointments. So a nominally Cold Christian archbishop can correctly “read the authoritarian pope’s” mind and get “the extreme liberal bishop Blase Cupich to the see of Chicago” installed.

And since we have touched on a “guilt by association” thread, the evidence for the linking of Cupich with the “crypto-salesians” is simple. The “crypto-salesian” Vigano, who was helped by the “crypto-salisian” Corbellini in the past, now promotes the choice of the “salesian” Vice-Pope (see here) without the Cardinal getting his hands dirty.

And as for the “sex abuse” scandals and the information being received at the Vatican’s US Nuncture about the situation at St. John’s Abbey, hey, it’s probably not something that Francis should be bothered with. And it would appear that Cardinal Sean, the President of the new Papal Commission “to protect minors” doesn’t want to bothered with this situation either (see here).

But it would appear that the situation with Bishop Finn is an entirely different ball of wax. It would appear that in a situation like this, it is easy to “to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another”. And hopefully this other direction might include a return ticket to the Vatican and a cardinal red zucchetto for our Lukewarm Christian Archbishop, and in the process, “relieve some of his pain”.

But one thing is for certain, Archbishop Vigano is definitely not interested in “relieving any of the pain” of the sex abuse victims.

And neither is it a priority for Cardinal O’Malley or Francis for that matter.