The Archbishop of San Franciso has come out in support of the character and some of the controversial claims made by former Holy See ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, demanding that they be taken seriously.
In a pastoral letter published on the diocesan website, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says he came to know Archbishop Viganò well during the years he served as Apostolic Nuncio in the US.
"I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to 'strengthen his brothers in the faith'," he writes.
He describes Archbishop Viganò as someone who fulfilled his vocation "at great personal sacrifice and with absolutely no consideration given to furthering his 'career' – all of which speaks to his integrity and sincere love of the Church."
He also says that from information he has about a very few of the statements Archbishop Viganò makes, he "can confirm" that they are true.
"His statements, therefore, must be taken seriously. To dismiss them lightly would continue a culture of denial and obfuscation."
Earlier this month, Archbishop Cordileone was among several US Archbishops who called for penance over the clerical sex abuse crisis.
"What is called for at this time is penance in reparation for sins against faith and morals," he said in his previous pastoral letter. "This is how we keep the righteous indignation that so many of us feel at this time from becoming an anger that divides the body of Christ."
Pope Francis has still failed to respond to the testimony, apart from insisting he would neither confirm nor deny it last Sunday when speaking to journalists on the plane from Ireland to Rome.
Archbishop Cordileone's statement comes after the Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, said in an interview with NBC 5: "The Pope has a bigger agenda, he’s got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this." He continued: "The record shows that whoever there’s actionable information, Pope Francis acts."
He also suggested a personal bias against the Pope
“Quite frankly, they also don’t like him because he’s a Latino.”
He said he was unaware of allegations against McCarrick until a few months ago.
Prominent Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke has also spoken out on the controversy.
“The corruption and filth which have entered into the life of the Church must be purified at their roots,” he said in response to a request for comment by LifeSite. “The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church,” said Burke. “Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.”
Viganò himself, in an interview with Italian Catholic blogger Aldo Maria Valli, said he had always believed that the hierarchy of the Church would find within itself the resources to heal corruption. "I spoke because now corruption has reached the top of the Church hierarchy."
The CNS video below shows Pope Francis greeting Viganò in 2013 when Francis met all the Nuncios. Viganò describes this moment in his 11-page testimony when he says the pope told him angrily – when he finally got to him – that he did not want the US Church to be ‘ideologised’.