Pope Francis poses for photos with a group from Mexico wearing traditional clothes, during his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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In the statement published over the weekend, Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, called on Francis to resign on the grounds the pope knew for years about the sexual misconduct of an American cardinal and did nothing.Vigano said he told the pope himself five years ago, little more than three months after Francis' election. He included no supporting documents in the statement, and has not been reachable for comment since it was published.Vigano wrote that Francis and his predecessor Benedict, among others, knew for years about sexual misconduct with adult seminarians by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the emeritus archbishop of Washington D.C., who quit last month in disgrace.In June, American church officials said allegations that McCarrick sexually abused a 16-year-old boy almost 50 years ago were credible and substantiated. Vigano said he could not remember what year the alleged sanction, which was never made public, was imposed.Vigano said he told Francis everything about McCarrick's case on June 23, 2013 .Bloggers and journalists have found pictures of McCarrick at Church functions, including at least one in the Vatican, in the years after Vigano says Benedict had ordered the former cardinal out of the public eye.
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