Archbishop Viganò Confirms Allegations About Monsignor Rossi
George Neumayr
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Cardinal Viganò with Pope Francis (Catholic News Service/YouTube screenshot)

“Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is confirming that, as papal nuncio, he received complaints of homosexual predation and harassment by Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,” reports Christine Niles of Church Militant.

Speaking to the Italian journalist Marco Tosatti recently, Viganò said, ”Monsignor Rossi is, without a doubt, a member of the ‘gay mafia.’ You can read about him online on The American Spectator website.”

“I can say that, while I was a nuncio in the United States, I received the documentation that states that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America,” according to Viganò. “The Vatican, in particular Cdl. [Pietro] Parolin, is well aware of the situation of Msgr. Rossi, as is Cdl. Wuerl.”

“I can finally testify that Rossi’s name was proposed for promotion to my predecessor, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who blocked his progress,” Viganò added. “These facts clearly show how the ‘gay mafia’ operates.”

The American Spectator articles to which Viganò refers are “Monsignor Rossi, Wuerl’s Gay Mafioso at the Basilica” and  “The Day of Reckoning for Monsignor Rossi and the Hierarchy.”

In those pieces, I reported:

A number of alumni from the Catholic University of America (CUA) have told me that Rossi “hit” on them and “groomed” them. In one case, I was told, Rossi asked a CUA student about his gay roommate (with whom Rossi was overly familiar) and insinuated that the three of them should get together for group sex.

“Rossi is a gay sexual harasser of CUA students,” said this alumnus to me… “Rossi would groom CUA students,” says a D.C. archdiocesan source. “If they submitted to him, he would reward them; if they didn’t, he would treat them poorly, and if they worked at the Basilica, he would make life miserable for them until they left.”

Imitating his boss [Theodore] McCarrick and his old boss [confirmed gay predator Bishop Michael Bransfield], Rossi arrogantly assumed that no member of the faithful would ever dare call him out on his scandalous life. If they could get away with it, he appears to have reasoned, why can’t I?

Yet the day of reckoning approaches. Members of the Gay Mafia, of which that trio is emblematic, have exploited the naïveté and docility of the Catholic faithful for years, who are now wising up to that mafia’s grotesque decadence.

That day of reckoning is now emerging in the form of whistle-blowing from Viganò, an archbishop and former papal nuncio in the U.S., whose powerful testimony has been consistently vindicated and can’t be dismissed as the carping of a layman. To understand the turbulence and scandal of this period in the Church’s life, clearly one of its most corrupt, future Church historians will rely heavily on Viganò’s testimony. Until Viganò no one that high in the Church had ever provided such specific confirmation of details shedding light on the gay mafia in the Church.

Last week Viganò commented to the Washington Post:

Not only have my testimonies not been denied, but some of the facts they contain have been independently confirmed. To cite just two examples, the letter of [then-Archbishop Leonardo] Sandri to [New York] Father [Boniface] Ramsey confirmed my assertion that Vatican officials knew of the McCarrick allegations as early as 2000, and Cardinal [Marc] Ouellet, in his open letter to me, confirmed that he told me in person and then put in writing the restrictions imposed by Pope Benedict on McCarrick.

As for Pope Francis, his answer to my testimony was “I will not say a single word about this.” Would he have said that if he knew my testimony were false?

Monsignor Rossi, through a spokeswoman, furnished a lawyerly, beside-the-point, and vague denial to Church Militant about Viganò’s latest testimony:

The National Shrine has never received any credible allegations of improper conduct by Monsignor Rossi. To the contrary, in 2018 Monsignor Rossi publicly condemned the issues of abuse that have plagued the Catholic Church (statement attached). The recent claims by Archbishop Viganò are baseless and without merit or substantiation.

Notice that the statement says the “National Shrine” has not received any complaints. That wasn’t Viganò’s testimony. He said that as the pope’s representative in the U.S. he had “received the documentation that states that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America.” Rossi can’t deny that, so instead says “recent claims” without specification.

Let’s hope Viganò continues to unravel the web of corrupt clericalism that McCarrick, Bransfield, and Wuerl, among others, spun in the Church — a signal service to her reform.

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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