Viganò and papal aides clash over Kim Davis saga

What happened?

The row over the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò entered new territory as the whistleblower sought to defend his record as US nuncio – specifically in organising the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis, a clerk jailed for five days for refusing to authorise same-sex marriages. Viganò said he was provoked by a New York Times report in which abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz said the Pope told him he was “horrified” by the meeting and “fired that nuncio”.

What the media are saying

Archbishop Viganò released a statement to LifeSiteNews explaining that the night before the meeting he had asked the Pope about the possibility of an audience, giving him a brief memo about Davis. The Pope seemed favourable, he said, but asked him to check with Cardinal Pietro Parolin. He went to Parolin’s hotel but, as the cardinal had already gone to bed, instead briefed the cardinal’s two under-secretaries, Archbishop Angelo Becciu and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who, he said, backed the idea.

Then, in the resultant media storm, Viganò received a phone call from Parolin saying that he must come to the Vatican immediately “because the Pope is furious with you”. The next day he had an hour-long meeting with Francis, who was “very affectionate and paternal” and “did not mention even once the audience with Davis”.

On Sunday Fr Federico Lombardi and Fr Thomas Rosica, two Vatican advisers accused in Viganò’s report of falsely downplaying the meeting, issued their own statement disputing Viganò’s version of events. They said they had met him during his visit to Rome and that he was “clearly shaken”. He told them that, while the Pope had thanked him for organising the US visit, he “also said that I had deceived him” by arranging the meeting.

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