Letter from Rome

Another whistle-blower among the clergy
Letter from Rome

Pope Francis leads an outdoor Mass at the Marian Shrine of Sumuleu Ciuc on June 1in Miercurea Ciuc city, Romania. (Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP)

When Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign last summer for allegedly covering up the sexual crimes of the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, it was "like an earthquake for the Church.

"That's how Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, a former Vatican official and a longtime consultant for CBS News, described Viganò's "testimony," an 11-page dossier of accusations and innuendos that targeted the pope and nearly a dozen high-ranking Vatican prelates.

Msgr. Figueiredo, a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey) who has been living in Rome since 2006, immediately defended Viganò's credibility.

"I know him personally," he told CBS. "I know him as a man of great integrity, honest to the core. He's worked for three different popes, and [was] sent to a Vatican position, a diplomatic position as big as the United States, which means he's a trusted man.

"The very bright and articulate Newark priest vouched for Viganò on Aug. 27, 2018, just one day after the former papal nuncio carefully coordinated with LifeSite News and the National Catholic Register to publish his 11 pages of accusations. 

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Taking Viganò's lead

Now nine months later Msgr. Figueiredo is back in the news. And how!

Following in the footsteps of his friend or acquaintance, Archbishop Viganò, the 55-year-old priest has become the latest clergyman with a public profile to blow the whistle on Church cover-up in the hierarchy.


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