Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Archbishop Vigano Faces Charges of Schism with Pride and Defiance

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes
Former Papal Nuncio Criticizes Pope Francis and Vatican Council II Amidst Canonical Proceedings

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former papal nuncio to the United States, is facing a charge of schism brought by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF).


By Catholic Online
6/21/2024 (1 month ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Archbishop Vigano, Vatican, schism charges, Pope Francis, Vatican Council II, extrajudicial process, Catholic Church

On Thursday morning, the esteemed former Vatican diplomat shared images of his citation in an extrajudicial process, authorized by the congresso of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith's members on May 10.

According to the citation, dated June 11, the DDF's senior membership voted to proceed with Vigano's case via an abbreviated extrajudicial process, as opposed to a full canonical trial. The former Vatican ambassador has been invited to appear at the dicastery in Rome on June 20, either in person or via formal legal representation, to address the charges.

The charge of schism is defined by canon law as the "refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

According to the decree of citation sent to Vigano, the archbishop is accused of making "public statements resulting in a denial of the elements necessary to maintain communion with the Catholic Church: denial of the legitimacy of Pope Francis, breaking of communion with him, and rejection of Vatican Council II."

The dicastery, with its responsibility to judge cases of faith-related crimes and other serious moral and sacramental offenses, is handling this case with due diligence.

Vigano, a prominent and courageous critic of certain modernist tendencies within the Church, issued a thoughtful statement on June 20 in response to his citation for schism, which he described as a "badge of honor."

"It is no coincidence that the accusation against me concerns the questioning of the legitimacy of [Pope Francis] Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the rejection of Vatican [Council] II: the Council represents the ideological, theological, moral and liturgical cancer of which the Bergoglian 'synodal church' is a necessary metastasis," the archbishop wrote, defending his stance on Church teachings and tradition.

The citation to appear before the DDF is Vigano's opportunity to inspect the evidence against him, in line with canonical procedure for an extrajudicial process. This process, an abbreviated canonical disciplinary procedure, ensures that the rights of the accused to legal representation, to see the evidence against them, and to make their own defense remain intact, although several rounds of formal trial procedure are omitted.

This same process was used in the case of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who faced grave charges of sexual abuse. In Vigano's case, the canonical penalty for schism could lead to a declaration of latae sententiae excommunication, with potential additional penalties.

However, the primary goal remains the repentance of the offender, with the possibility of lifting penalties later. Laicization, a perpetual penalty, can be imposed if the individual is obstinate in their crime or if the gravity of scandal demands it.

Vigano reaffirmed his positions in his response, indicating that the charges align with his previously stated views on the current papacy and Vatican Council II. His willingness to address these charges reflects his commitment to his beliefs and to Church tradition.

If the archbishop declines to appear in Rome on June 20 or send a duly appointed canon lawyer, the DDF decree notes that a canonist will be assigned to defend him ex officio by the dicastery.

Vigano, who left office in 2016, has been a bold voice within the Church, especially following the Theodore McCarrick scandal of 2018. He has been a steadfast critic of certain actions within the Vatican, advocating for transparency and truth.

After issuing a detailed testimony regarding McCarrick, he later supported then-president Donald Trump and participated in "Stop the Steal" rallies, expressing his concerns about electoral integrity and broader political issues.

More recently, Vigano has highlighted the role of Russia in restoring Christian civilization, recognizing Moscow as the "Third Rome," and suggesting it could lead to a period of peace and renewal for the Church.

Through his ongoing declarations and occasional public appearances, Archbishop Vigano continues to stand for his convictions, advocating for a return to traditional Church values and teachings.

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Saint of the Day logo
Prayer of the Day logo

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.