Thunderclap at the Vatican: Pope Francis excommunicates a pro-Trump and antivax archbishop!

Thunderclap at the Vatican: Pope Francis excommunicates a pro-Trump and antivax archbishop!
Thunderclap at the Vatican: Pope Francis excommunicates a pro-Trump and antivax archbishop!

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 83, known for his harsh criticism of the pontificate, was expelled from the Church because of “his refusal to recognize and submit to the sovereign pontiff,” said the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the department of the Roman Curia responsible for dogma.

An excommunicated person is totally prohibited from administering and receiving the sacraments, and from exercising ecclesiastical functions, according to canon law.

This rare decision on a highly publicized case could have a serious impact on ultraconservative and traditionalist circles, particularly in the United States where opposition to the Argentinian pope is very active.

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“We know his public statements which show the refusal (…) of communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him and of the legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council,” justified the dicastery which ruled on Thursday.

This influential Italian prelate, former ambassador of the Holy See to the United States, had indicated that he had been summoned on June 20 before the justice of the Holy See, accused of having “denied the legitimacy of Pope Francis” and “refused the Second Vatican Council.”

But he did not appear before the courts of the Holy See, which judged him in absentia.

“I repudiate, reject and condemn the scandals, errors and heresies of Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis, editor’s note), who has an absolutely tyrannical management of power,” he had then castigated, saying that he considered the accusations against him as an “honor.”

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65), considered a major adaptation of the Church to the modern world, “represents the ideological, theological, moral and liturgical cancer of which the Bergoglian +synodal Church+ is the necessary metastasis”, he also wrote.

In a text published on June 28, he accused the pope of “heresy”, demanding “that he be judged and removed from the throne that he has unworthily occupied for more than 11 years”.

Pro-Trump and anti-war

Archbishop Vigano, who served as apostolic nuncio (ambassador of the Holy See) in Washington from 2011 to 2016 before retiring, is a chronic accuser of the pope and has distinguished himself by multiple stormy positions against his authority.

His media appearances have had a strong echo in ultra-conservative circles, which are opposed to the doctrinal vision of Pope Francis on liturgical and social issues, such as the Latin Mass or the reception of LGBT+ people.

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This opposition, which has grown in recent years, has sometimes called into question the legitimacy of Jorge Bergoglio as successor of Peter, raising fears of a rupture within the Church.

In August 2018, Mgr Vigano caused a media bombshell by calling for the Pope’s resignation and publishing a scathing list of accusations about his handling of sexual violence in the Church.

He accused him in particular of having long protected the former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, defrocked in 2019 for violence against a minor.

A year later, the former secretary general of the Vatican governorate made headlines again by publishing a long letter of unconditional support for Donald Trump, criticizing the lockdown during the pandemic and justifying the repression of riots in the United States.

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He had also initiated a petition calling for the resumption of worship in churches, judging that the security measures surrounding the coronavirus pandemic targeted religious freedom. This text had been signed by traditionalist cardinals.

In statements with a very conspiratorial tone, taking up the theories of the QAnon movement and relayed in far-right circles, Bishop Vigano had also taken a position against the Covid-19 vaccine, protesting against the “health dictatorship” and the “great reset” carried out, according to him, by the major world powers.

Bishop Vigano had already been ordered in 2018 by an Italian court to pay 1.8 million euros to his disabled brother for a case of family dispossession.

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