Monday, July 08, 2024

Viganò tells bishops following his excommunication: ‘If you are silent, the stones will cry out’

Archbishop Viganò has responded to the Vatican’s declaration of schism and latae sententiae excommunication, saying that the “guilt” he is accused of confirms “the Catholic Faith I integrally profess” while urging his brother bishops to speak out.

In a social media statement on July 5, the former U.S. Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò gave a brief comment regarding the declaration of his latae sentenciae excommunication made by the Vatican earlier in the day. 

“What is imputed to me as guilt for my conviction is now on record, confirming the Catholic Faith I integrally profess,” wrote Viganò. 

He quoted from Scripture, adding: “To my brethren I say, ‘If you keep silent, the stones will cry out’ (Luke 19:40).” The archbishop attached a copy of the 11-page decree emailed to him by the Vatican today: emailed to him at the same time that it was distributed to the Vatican press corps. 

At around 1:15 p.m. Rome time, the Vatican’s Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith published a statement declaring that Viganò was “found guilty of the reserved delict of schism.”

“The Dicastery declared the latae sententiae excommunication in accordance with canon 1364 § 1 CIC. The lifting of the censure in these cases is reserved to the Apostolic See. This decision was communicated to the Most Reverend Viganò on 5 July 2024,” the statement added.

“His public statements manifesting his refusal to recognize and submit to the Supreme Pontiff, his rejection of communion with the members of the Church subject to him, and of the legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council are well known,” the Vatican’s public statement read.

Highlighting his statements, the DDF’s decree attested that Viganò:

  • explicitly and consistently denies the legitimacy of Pope Francis, claiming his election is invalid; 

  • he does not consider himself in communion with Pope Francis and those who are in communion with him 

  • believes that the Church at the head of which Pope Francis stands is not the Catholic Church;

  • rejects the Ecumenical Council Vatican II, believing it lacks magisterial authority;

The DDF decree noted Viganò had been represented before the DDF by the public defender, who argued that to pursue the “censure” of excommunication “would be a fruitless act and would only serve to inflame an already divided public opinion.”

However, the DDF’s assessors wrote that they deemed Viganò’s statements “more than sufficient” to incur “the crime of schism referred to in can. 751 CIC.”

On June 20, Viganò revealed that the DDF had, by way of a letter dated June 11, begun an “extrajudicial penal trial” against him, accusing the prelate of “the crime of schism.” 

Rebuffing the accusation, Viganò stated at the time that “I claim, as Successor of the Apostles, to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, with the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiffs, and with the uninterrupted doctrinal, moral, and liturgical Tradition which they have faithfully preserved.”

Expanding on his position via a June 28 statement, Viganò stated that “in order to separate myself from ecclesial communion with Jorge Mario Bergoglio, I would have to have first been in communion with him, which is not possible since Bergoglio himself cannot be considered a member of the Church, due to his multiple heresies and his manifest alienness and incompatibility with the role he invalidly and illicitly holds.”