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Former top Vatican official claims Pope Francis knew about abuse crisis and now should resign

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A former top Vatican official has accused Pope Francis of having known of allegations of sex abuse by a prominent U.S. cardinal for years and called on him to resign, in an unprecedented broadside against the pope by a Church insider.

In a detailed 11-page bombshell statement given to conservative Roman Catholic media outlets during the Pope’s visit to Ireland, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused a long list of current and past Vatican and U.S. Church officials of covering up the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month in disgrace.

In remarkably blunt language, Vigano said alleged cover-ups in the Church were making it look like “a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia”.

“Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church,” wrote Vigano, who has criticized the pope before.

“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.

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Vatican officials declined immediate comment on Sunday on the statement, which was published by the National Catholic Register and several other conservative media outlets in the United States and Italy.

Vigano said he had told Francis in June 2013, just after he was elected pope by his fellow cardinals, about the accusations against McCarrick.

Vigano, the papal envoy in Washington from 2011 to 2016, also said he had informed top Vatican officials as early as 2006 that McCarrick was suspected of abusing adult seminarians while he was a bishop in two New Jersey dioceses between 1981 and 2001. He said he never received a response to his 2006 memo.

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He also accused McCarrick’s successor as archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of having been aware of the abuse allegations. Wuerl has said he did not know of them.

The statement was the latest blow to the credibility of the U.S. Church. Nearly two weeks ago, a grand jury in Pennsylvania released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

RESIGNATION

McCarrick in July became the first Cardinal in living memory to resign his position in the Church leadership after a review concluded that claims he had sexually abused a 16-year-old boy were credible.

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He was one of the highest-ranking church officials accused of sex abuse in a scandal that has rocked the 1.2 billion-member faith since reports of priests abusing children and bishops covering up for them were reported by the Boston Globe in 2002.

Since then patterns of widespread abuse of children have been reported across the United States and Europe, in Chile and Australia, undercutting the Church’s moral authority and taking a toll on its membership and coffers

McCarrick, 88, has said he had no recollection of alleged abuse of the minor but has not commented on widespread media reports that he would force adult men studying for the priesthood to sleep with him at a beach house in New Jersey.

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Vigano’s statement railed against “homosexual networks present in the Church” — the word “homosexual” appears 18 times, while the word “child” appears only twice, in both cases in the titles of Church documents Vigano sites.

Francis asked for forgiveness on Sunday during his highly charged visit to Ireland for the “scandal and betrayal” felt by victims of sexual exploitation by Catholic clergy. On Saturday he said the corruption and cover-up of abuse amounted to human excrement, according to victims.


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‘Bond is dead’: White dudes flip out over casting of a black woman as next Agent 007

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On Monday, the Daily Beast reported that the new 007 -- the special agent in the James Bond series -- will be portrayed by the black actress Lashana Lynch.

The announcement set off predictably racist and sexist reactions.

Perhaps the most prominent right-winger to voice his displeasure was Ben Shapiro, who complained that it didn't make sense for Bond to be a woman because of the character's signature seduction moves.

"Bond is about the guns and the girls," Shapiro said, noting that a woman in a seductive role was not realistic.

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REVEALED: The government just ‘dramatically’ expanded its investigation of Jeffrey Epstein

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Federal investigators have been able to “dramatically expand” their investigation into financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as prosecutors bring sex trafficking charges against him, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said in court on Monday.

The government revealed the expansion of the case at the day’s bail hearing. In searching the defendant’s house, investigators found an old passport with Epstein picture and a fake name that listed Saudi Arabia as the location of his residence, the prosecutor said.

The judge was surprised at this revelation, NBC News reported, asking the attorney, “Say again?”

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Will Hurd becomes first GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump’s ‘racist and xenophobic’ attacks on Dems

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Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) on Monday became the first Republican lawmaker to unequivocally condemn President Donald Trump's racist attacks against four Democratic lawmakers.

When asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour about Trump's weekend tweets, in which he told Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to “go back” to their countries despite the fact that all four are American citizens, Hurd did not hold back on repudiating the president's statements.

"Those tweets are racist, and xenophobic," he said. "They’re also inaccurate. The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States."

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