Vatican summons Archbishop Vigano to face charges

<p>Pope Francis <em>(Anadolu photo)</em></p>

Pope Francis (Anadolu photo)

VATICAN – Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said Thursday that he was summoned by the Vatican to face charges of splitting the Catholic Church and questioning Pope Francis’s legitimacy.

Vigano, the Vatican’s ambassador to the US from 2011 to 2016, and known for frequently criticizing Pope Francis and calling for his resignation, shared an official notice from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on X.

"The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has informed me, with a simple email, of the initiation of an extrajudicial penal trial against me, with the accusation of having committed the crime of schism and charging me with having denied the legitimacy of Pope Francis, of having broken communion with Him, and of having rejected the Second Vatican Council," he said.

Responding to the charges, Vigano said, "I regard the accusations against me as an honor. I believe that the very wording of the charges confirms the theses that I have repeatedly defended in my various addresses."

The Vatican has given Archbishop Vigano until June 28 to submit his defense. Otherwise, a decision will be made in his absence.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin commented on the matter, saying it is normal for the Congress of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate Vigano's statements.

He emphasized that Vigano has placed himself in a position where he must clarify his remarks.

Archbishop Vigano accused Pope Francis in 2018 of covering up sexual abuse within the Church. (Anadolu)