Pope accuser strikes back, blames gay priesthood for abuse

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Source: Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican ambassador who accused Pope Francis of rehabilitating a disgraced ex-American cardinal is doubling down on his claims, asserting that the “scourge of homosexuality” in the priesthood is responsible for sex abuse and that the Vatican is being hypocritical in refusing to acknowledge it.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano issued a third installment Friday in the war of words over the cover-up of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. He was responding to a Vatican cardinal who had rebuked him and accused him of mounting a “blasphemous” political hit job against Francis with his claims.

Vigano has accused Francis of effectively rehabilitating McCarrick, 88, from restrictions imposed during Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy because of allegations he pressured seminarians to sleep with him. He has called for Francis to resign over the McCarrick scandal, which has sparked a crisis of confidence in the U.S. and Vatican hierarchy.

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