Former U.S. nuncio Viganò to undergo Church trial for schism, rejecting Pope Francis 

Former U.S. nuncio Viganò to undergo Church trial for schism, rejecting Pope Francis 

Archbishop Carlo Vigano. / Credit: Edward Pentin/National Catholic Register

CNA Newsroom, Jun 20, 2024 / 14:19 pm (CNA).

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on Thursday claimed that the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has initiated proceedings against him over the alleged crime of schism.

Citing a document he published on his website and posted on social media, the former papal nuncio to the United States wrote that he was summoned to Rome on June 20 to face an extrajudicial penal process for the charges.

“I have been summoned to the Palace of the Holy Office on June 20, in person or represented by a canon lawyer,” the prelate wrote on X. “I assume that the sentence has already been prepared, given that it is an extrajudicial process.”

The specific charges outlined against Viganò involve making public statements that allegedly deny the fundamental elements necessary to maintain communion with the Catholic Church. This includes denying the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the rightful pontiff and outright rejection of the doctrines established during the Second Vatican Council.

Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C., from 2011 to 2016, commented he regarded the accusations against him “as an honor.”

Vatican news reported that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has not commented on the alleged proceedings.

CNA contacted the Vatican for confirmation and comment.

Viganò made headlines in 2018 with the allegation — followed up by several letters — that senior prelates had been complicit in covering up alleged sex abuse by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. He also called on Pope Francis to resign.

According to Vatican News, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on Thursday in reaction to the news: “Archbishop Viganò has taken some attitudes and some actions for which he must answer.”

Parolin added: “I am very sorry because I always appreciated him as a great worker, very faithful to the Holy See, someone who was, in a certain sense, also an example. When he was apostolic nuncio he did good work.”

Daniel Payne contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.