A former apostolic nuncio, or papal ambassador, to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has warned Catholics that several of the bishops Pope Francis has recently elevated to the College of Cardinals support leftwing causes and oppose the Church’s traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass.

“Pope Francis has chosen his new cardinals for their ‘corruptibility,’” the outspoken Viganò wrote at LifeSiteNews last week.

Among those Pope Francis has chosen to elevate to the College of Cardinals – a body that will elect the pope’s successor – are: San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, an LGBTQ advocate who has also expressed support for ordaining women and allowing pro-abortion politicians to receive Holy Communion; Archbishop Arthur Roche, who opposes the celebration of the traditional form of the Mass and was appointed by the pope last year to head the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; and Archbishop Leonardo U. Steiner of Manaus, Brazil, who has expressed public support for same-sex civil unions.

Viganò released a bombshell report in 2018 in which he announced that, five years earlier, he had informed Pope Francis of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s long history of homosexual abuse, and the subsequent sanctions Pope Benedict XVI had placed upon him.

Francis, however, released McCarrick “from all constraints,” Viganò asserted.

A former aide to McCarrick later confirmed to Crux in 2019 that Benedict’s restrictions on the laicized cardinal had been imposed by the Vatican in 2008.

After the disgraced McCarrick’s misdeeds became known, Pope Francis said in an interview, “about McCarrick, I knew nothing – obviously – nothing, nothing,” a statement Viganò characterized as “a lie.”

In his piece last week, Viganò made a stunning comparison between the appointees of Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, and political officials “appointed by the deep state”:

The cardinals appointed by the Bergoglian church are perfectly consistent with that deep church of which they are an expression, just as the ministers and functionaries of state are chosen and appointed by the deep state. And if this happens, it is because the crisis of authority which we have been witnessing in the world for centuries and in the Church for sixty years has now metastasized.

It is therefore not surprising that an authority that is based on blackmail surrounds itself with people who are vulnerable to blackmail, nor that a power exercised on behalf of a subversive lobby wants to guarantee continuity with the line that has been undertaken, preventing the next conclave from electing a Pope rather than a vaccine vendor or a New World Order propagandist.

In strong terms, Viganò then urged all Catholics, whether lay or clergy, “to implore the Master of the vineyard to come and do justice to the wild boars who are devastating it.”

“Until this sect of corrupters and fornicators is thrown out of the temple, we will not be able to hope that civil society will be any better than those who ought to be edifying it rather than scandalizing it,” he said.

According to Faithful Shepherds, a database that seeks to provide Catholics with evidence of where their bishops stand on Church teaching and important moral issues, McElroy has vigorously opposed Viganò and “viciously attacked” the former nuncio, “calling his actions ideologically driven.”

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which seeks to provide “equity, inclusion, and justice for LGBTQ+ persons,” praised the pope’s appointment of McElroy.

DeBernardo underscored that, as a bishop, “McElroy has a strong record of standing up for LGBTQ people,” and added:

His new position will help to re-shape the episcopacy of the Catholic Church in the U.S., which has been overwhelmingly and vehemently anti-LGBTQ. He represents the kind of prelate our church needs, one who will stretch out a hand, not a fist, to the LGBTQ community.

“With the appointment of McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis is making sure that his outreach to LGBTQ people will continue after his papacy ends,” DeBernardo continued. “As an elector of future popes, McElroy can play a role in making sure that the next papacy will continue in the welcoming spirit of Pope Francis.”

“I am optimistic that his appointment will have a great influence in further opening up the conversation on LGBTQ issues in the church in a positive way,” he added.

Religion News Service also observed that “Pope Francis is remaking the College of Cardinals – and setting the stage for the eventual election of his successor.”

The status of New Ways Ministry, however, and its relationship with the Catholic Church in America, was clarified in 2010 by then-Cardinal Francis George, who had served as archbishop of Chicago and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, prior to his death in 2015.

“From the time of the organization’s founding in 1977, serious questions have been raised about the group’s adherence to Church teaching on homosexuality,” George wrote, and continued:

In 1984, the archbishop of Washington denied New Ways Ministry any official authorization or approval of its activities. At that time, he forbade the two co-founders of New Ways Ministry, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Fr. Robert Nugent, to continue their activities in the Archdiocese of Washington. In the same year, Sr. Gramick and Fr. Nugent were ordered by their superiors to separate themselves from New Ways Ministry. Although they resigned from leadership posts, they continued their involvement in New Ways Ministry activities until 1999, when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that because of errors and ambiguities in the approach of Sr. Gramick and Fr. Nugent they are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.

George added that, in the 1980s, Archbishop James Hickey of Washington “cited the organization’s lack of adherence to Church teaching on the morality of homosexual acts.”

“No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice,” George wrote. “Accordingly, I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States.”

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed Pope Francis’ choice of McElroy.

“By naming Bishop Robert McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis has shown his pastoral care for the Church in the United States,” Gomez said on May 29. “I have known and have had the privilege of working with Cardinal-designate McElroy for many years.”

Last week Pope Francis also named Cardinal Blase Cupich, who also supports restricting celebrations of the Traditional Latin Mass, to be a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In December 2021, Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, issued a new policy for Chicago Catholics that restricted the celebration of the Tridentine Mass and other sacraments in Latin using liturgical books that were published prior to Vatican II, National Catholic Register reported.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Pope Francis” by Long Thiên. CC BY-SA 2.0.