After Viganò’s testimony, the ‘pontifical secret’ will never be the same again
Catholic Herald, 5 September 2018
The archbishop said his conscience urged him to break with normal practice
Whatever the truth or falsity of the claims made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in his “testimony” calling for the resignation of Pope Francis, it is indisputable that he spectacularly violated the pontifical secret he swore an oath to keep.
That is an earthquake for the Vatican diplomatic corps and the Roman Curia. The “pontifical secret” which binds them is not the confessional seal, nor is it as grave as the conclave seal for the cardinal electors, but it is most serious. After Viganò it will never be the same.
Archbishop Viganò justified the revelation of details he learned on the job on the grounds that his conscience did not permit him to keep corruption hidden. He brazenly invoked the mafia term omertà to speak about the code of silence he was breaking.
As for Viganò’s conscience, the parts of his “testimony” that were reckless and unfairly maligned parties without justification undermine confidence in his judgment about violating oaths. Yet now the Church is faced with a question of whether, and how, to keep secrets.
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