Following a letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that said Pope Francis knew of the coverup of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, had given comfort to a “homosexual current” in the Vatican, and should therefore resign, Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has called for the pope to be investigated.
“I need to emphasize that I do not have any privileged information about this matter, nor do I have the facts necessary to come to a definitive, impartial judgement,” Bishop Tobin said in a statement emailed late Thursday. “Nonetheless, the allegations lodged by Archbishop Viganò involving Pope Francis are substantive, and need to be investigated in a prompt and just manner.
“The future direction of the Church, its spiritual welfare, and the faith of God’s people, are at stake,” he added.
The letter has drawn attention to the fault line in the church present since the beginning of Francis’ papacy in 2013. Many who have protested the pontiff’s more inclusive vision of church doctrine and his move away from issues of abortion and homosexuality have said that he should resign.