VATICAN CITY — Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., has been formally charged by the Vatican with schism for his repeated criticisms of Pope Francis and his questioning of the pontiff’s legitimacy. This rare judicial move by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith was confirmed by Vigano on Thursday.

According to Philippines News Agency, he received an email notification from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, alerting him to the extrajudicial penal trial initiated against him. The charges accuse him of schism, denying the legitimacy of Pope Francis, breaking communion with him, and rejecting the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. “The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has informed me, with a simple email, of the initiation of an extrajudicial penal trial against me,” Vigano stated on X.

In response to the charges, Vigano expressed that he considers the accusations as an honor and believes they inadvertently affirm his critical positions. He has been vocal in his disapproval of Pope Francis’s leadership, particularly after accusing the Pope in 2018 of covering up sexual abuse scandals within the Church.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin remarked that it is standard procedure for the Congress of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate such serious allegations as those made by Vigano. “He has placed himself in a position where he must clarify his remarks,” Parolin said.

The Vatican has set a deadline of June 28 for Archbishop Vigano to submit his defense. Should he fail to respond, the Vatican will proceed to make a decision in his absence.

By admin