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Catholic Crisis: Former Vatican Ambassador to Nigeria Calls for Pope Francis’ Removal


Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a prominent figure within the Catholic Church and former apostolic nuncio (the Vatican’s ecclesiastical diplomat) in Nigeria, has issued a statement denouncing Pope Francis and calling for his removal from office. Vigano served in Nigeria from 1992 to 1998.

The statement, delivered amidst a backdrop of mounting tension within the Church, accused the pontiff of leading the Church astray and embracing doctrines contrary to traditional Catholic teachings.

Pope Francis had issued a query to the Archbishop, accusing him of seeking to divide the church.

He was accused of refusing to appear before the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to face charges of schism.

The Vatican also accused him of levelling severe, allegations of heresy against the Pope.

Pope Francis. Photograph: Vatican News/

“I do not recognize the authority of the tribunal that claims to judge me, nor of its Prefect, nor of the one who appointed him,” Archbishop Viganò declared defiantly in his response to the query, challenging the legitimacy of his impending trial for alleged schism.

He argued that his stance was rooted in a moral obligation to uphold true Catholic doctrine.

He accused the pope of allowing freemasonry to “infiltrate the hierarchy” of the church. In his statement, the archbishop consistently referred to Pope Francis by his name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

He wrote, “This cowardly and culpable surrender began with the convocation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and with the underground and highly organized action of clergymen and laity linked to the Masonic sects, aimed at slowly but surely subverting the structure of government and magisterium of the Church in order to demolish Her from within.

“It is useless to look for other reasons: the documents of the secret sects demonstrate the existence of an infiltration plan conceived in the nineteenth century and carried out a century later, exactly in the terms in which it was conceived.

“We find ourselves in the surreal situation in which a Hierarchy calls itself Catholic and therefore demands obedience from the ecclesial body, while at the same time professing doctrines that before the Council the Church had condemned; and at the same time condemning doctrines as heretical that up until then had been taught by all the Popes.

“How would the Pontiffs of recent centuries have acted today? Would they judge me guilty of schism, or would they rather condemn the one who claims to be their Successor?”

The Archbishop’s condemnation extended beyond Pope Francis himself, targeting what he described as a broader infiltration of Masonic influences within the Church hierarchy.

“These subversives… are identifiable in the inimical vis, Freemasonry,” he asserted, alleging a deliberate effort to weaken the Church’s spiritual foundations.

He accused the Church’s leadership of capitulating to secular pressures and diluting doctrinal purity.

“The Church cannot teach error, nor can her Head, the Roman Pontiff, be at the same time heretical and orthodox, Peter and Judas, in communion with all his predecessors and at the same time in schism with them.

“The only theologically possible answer is that the Conciliar Hierarchy, which proclaims itself Catholic but embraces a faith different from that constantly taught for two thousand years by the Catholic Church, belongs to another entity and therefore does not represent the true Church of Christ.

“To those who remind me that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre never went so far as to question the legitimacy of the Roman Pontiff, while acknowledging the heresy and even the apostasy of the conciliar Popes – as when he exclaimed: “Rome has lost the Faith! Rome is in apostasy!” – I remind them that in the last fifty years the situation has dramatically worsened and that in all probability this great Pastor today would act with equal firmness, publicly repeating what he said then only to his clerics.”

Giving an insight into how and why clashed with the leadership of the church, he said, “The occasion that led me to clash with my ecclesiastical superiors began when I was Delegate for the Pontifical Representations, then as Secretary General of the Governorate, and finally as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

My war against moral and financial corruption unleashed the fury of the then Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, when – in accordance with my responsibilities as Delegate for the Papal Representations – I denounced the corruption of Cardinal McCarrick and opposed his promoting corrupt and unworthy candidates for the Episcopate presented by the Secretary of State, who had me transferred to the Governorate because

“I prevented him from making the bishops he wanted.”

“It was always Bertone, with the complicity of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who hindered my work aimed at combating widespread corruption in the Governorate, where I had already obtained important results beyond all expectations.

“It was also Bertone and Lajolo who convinced Pope Benedict to expel me from the Vatican and send me to the United States. There I found myself having to confront the vile events of Cardinal McCarrick, including his dangerous relationships with political representatives of the Obama-Biden Administration and also on an international level, which I did not hesitate to report to Secretary of State Parolin, who took no account of it.

“This led me to consider many events I had witnessed during my diplomatic and pastoral career in a different light, and to grasp their coherence with a single project that by its nature could be neither exclusively political nor exclusively religious, since it included a global attack on traditional society based on the doctrinal, moral, and liturgical teaching aspects of the Church.”

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