Vigano's accusations: What we know and what questions they raise

Amid Outrage Over Sex Abuse By Priests Pope To Hold Mass In Dublin

"In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them", he said.

Speaking to the press Sunday on his flight back to Italy from Ireland, Pope Francis said, "I will not say a single word on this", although he added that after some time passes, "I may speak".

Francis told journalists to "read the communique attentively and make your own judgement", referring to Vigano's letter.

"I will not say one word on this".

In a June 20 statement, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark said: "The Archdiocese of Newark has never received an accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a minor". His letter identifies by name the Vatican cardinals and USA archbishops who were informed about the McCarrick affair, an unthinkable expose for a Vatican diplomat to make.

Pope Francis has refused to comment on claims by the former Vatican ambassador to the USA that he knew about sex abuse allegations against an American bishop as long ago as 2013.

This allegedly occurred in 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

He served as the Vatican's ambassador to Washington from 2011 until 2016.

At a Mass on Sunday in Dublin's Phoenix Park, the culmination of his two-day visit to Ireland, Pope Francis begged forgiveness for the "abuses in Ireland, abuses of power, conscience and sexual abuses" perpetrated by Church leaders.

The timing of the letter's release - right in the middle of Francis's landmark trip to Ireland - has raised speculation of a campaign against the Argentinian pontiff by conservatives in the Church.

On the plane to Rome, Francis said he "suffered a lot" at the meeting.

According to the former nuncio's testimony, the Vatican was informed in 2000 of allegations that Archbishop McCarrick "shared his bed with seminarians" by two former USA nuncios - Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo and Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

In a July 29 statement, Cardinal Wuerl said: "When the first claim against Archbishop McCarrick was filed in the Archdiocese of NY, the Archdiocese of Washington reviewed its own files and found no complaints of any kind made against Archbishop McCarrick". We ask for forgiveness.

The National Catholic Reporter said that Vigano has himself been accused of covering up sexual misconduct by an archbishop in Minnesota.

The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar delivered a strong warning to the Pope to take action against clergy involved in child abuse and in keeping it secret.

Francis met privately on Saturday with eight victims of clerical, religious and institutional abuse, saying he would seek greater commitment to eliminate the "scourge".

While 500,000 people snapped up tickets to see Pope Francis say mass, local media quoted police recording the numbers as estimating some 130,000 arrived in the rain at the same spot where Pope John Paul II stood 39 years ago.

Since the Polish pope's visit, there have been huge changes in public attitudes to social issues including abortion, contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage.

"Having been removed by Pope Francis, his critique may well be colored by some personal sentiments", Groome told the Herald.

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