Catholic donor denies he consulted on Viganò allegations against Pope Francis
September 7, 2018
(RNS) — Timothy Busch, a conservative Catholic lawyer and donor, is denying claims he was consulted on a letter written last month by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò alleging, among other things, that Pope Francis ignored accusations of sexual abuse by a prominent cleric in Washington, D.C.
Viganò’s 11-page letter alleges Francis rescinded sanctions placed on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, by Pope Benedict XVI following allegations of sexual abuse of adult seminarians. Many have noted that if McCarrick was, in fact, under sanctions, he clearly defied them regularly under Benedict, who did not appear to enforce them publicly.
The letter by Viganò, a former Vatican diplomat who has been openly critical of Francis, has been received as the most public breach in a long-brewing culture war within the Catholic Church over the abuse crisis, as well as issues such as tolerance of homosexuality in the church and the status of divorced Catholics.
The letter was distributed by conservative-leaning outlets such as the National Catholic Register and was allegedly written with the assistance of prominent conservative Catholic businessmen and writers.