Former Vatican official says Francis lied about meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim ...

The former Vatican official who has accused Pope Francis of covering up sex abuse claims against senior clergymen is now saying that the pontiff and other top Vatican officials lied about a 2015 meeting with controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as the pope’s ambassador (nuncio) to the United States from 2011 until 2016, says that Francis and other members of the Catholic Church hierarchy knew who Davis was when they met during the Pope’s trip to the United States in 2015.

Davis is the Kentucky county clerk who became a hero to religious conservatives after she refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

She was sentenced to five days in jail in 2015 for refusing to carry out a court order to grant licenses to gay couples.

The former Vatican official who has accused Pope Francis of covering up sex abuse claims against senior clergymen is now saying that the pontiff and other top Vatican officials lied about a 2015 meeting with controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis (above)

The former Vatican official who has accused Pope Francis of covering up sex abuse claims against senior clergymen is now saying that the pontiff and other top Vatican officials lied about a 2015 meeting with controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis (above)

When news leaked of the secret meeting between Davis and the pontiff, the Vatican and Pope Francis claimed not to have known who she was or why she was significant.

The pope blamed Vigano and demanded his resignation.

But now Vigano is alleging that Francis and his chief lieutenants in the Vatican knew exactly who Davis was well before their meeting in the U.S. in 2015.

Vigano wrote a letter which was published on Saturday by LifeSiteNews.com, a conservative Catholic website.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano says that Vatican and Pope Francis knew who Davis was when she met the pontiff in Washington, DC in 2015

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano says that Vatican and Pope Francis knew who Davis was when she met the pontiff in Washington, DC in 2015

In the letter, Vigano claims that before his meeting with Davis, he handed the pope a one-page memo with details of Davis’ case.

The memo noted that Davis was ‘unjustly arrested and put in prison’ for her refusal to sign ‘marriage licenses for same-sex couples’ because ‘her conscience does not permit her to become a participant in this new way of understanding marriage.’

Vigano had invited Davis to be among those greeting Francis in the Vatican embassy in Washington in September 2015 during his visit to the country.

Her lawyer caused an uproar when he announced the meeting shortly after Francis returned to , describing it as papal affirmation of Davis' approach to conscientious objection.

The Vatican insisted the meeting was no such thing and that Davis was merely one of many people who were at the embassy that day. 

An incensed Vatican ultimately said Francis had only one private audience during his visit to Washington: With his openly gay former student and his partner.

Vigano has also caused serious headaches for Francis and the Vatican over the handling of sexual abuse of children by senior clergymen. 

Thousands of Catholic women have signed an open letter to the pope urging him to break his silence over claims he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse.

In the letter, they told Francis they felt 'angry, betrayed and disillusioned' over claims he ignored abuse allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Vigano made the claims at the weekend saying the pontiff 'covered' for 'serial predator' McCarrick 'to the bitter end'. 

But the Argentine has yet to address Vigano's claims.

A letter calling for answers from the pope, originally signed by just 53 Catholic women including seminarians, professors and theologians, has now been backed by more than 13,000.

Vigano has also accused Francis (seen above in Vatican City earlier this week) of covering up sex abuse by senior clergy

Vigano has also accused Francis (seen above in Vatican City earlier this week) of covering up sex abuse by senior clergy

It says: 'Our hearts are broken, our faith tested, by the escalating crisis engulfing our beloved Church. We are angry, betrayed and disillusioned. 

'The pain and suffering of the victims never ends, as each news cycle brings more horrific revelations of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, cover-ups, and deceit - even at the Church's highest levels.'  

'Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's recent statement impels us to reach out to you directly for answers. 

'His testimony accuses you, Holy Father, and highly placed cardinals of turning a blind eye to former Cardinal McCarrick's egregious behavior, and promoting this predator as a global spokesman and spiritual leader. Is this true?'

The timing of Vigano's claims - right in the middle of Francis's landmark trip to Ireland - immediately raised speculation about a possible plot against the Argentine pontiff.

Among some ultra-conservative Catholics, the pope is regarded as a dangerous progressive who is more interested in social issues than traditional Church matters.

But so far, Francis has remained silent, refusing to address the allegations and saying only that Vigano's missive 'speaks for itself'.

In their letter, the Catholic women said that 'several crucial questions' raised by Vigano 'neither lengthy investigations nor physical evidence. They require only your direct response, Holy Father.'

'When reporters questioned you recently about Archbishop Viganò's charges, you replied, 'I will not say a single word on this.' You told reporters to 'read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.'

'To your hurting flock, Pope Francis, your words are inadequate. They sting, reminiscent of the clericalism you so recently condemned. We need leadership, truth, and transparency. We, your flock, deserve your answers now.

The letter then outlines what the women believe needs to be answered, explaining: 'Specifically, we humbly implore you to answer the following questions, as the answers are surely known to you. 

'Our hearts are broken, our faith tested': The letter in full

Your Holiness:

You have said that you seek 'a more incisive female presence in the Church,' and that 'women are capable of seeing things with a different angle from [men], with a different eye. Women are able to pose questions that we men are not able to understand.'

We write to you, Holy Father, to pose questions that need answers.

We are Catholic women deeply committed to our faith and profoundly grateful for Church teachings, the Sacraments, and the many good bishops and priests who have blessed our lives.

Our hearts are broken, our faith tested, by the escalating crisis engulfing our beloved Church. We are angry, betrayed and disillusioned. The pain and suffering of the victims never ends, as each news cycle brings more horrific revelations of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, cover-ups, and deceit—even at the Church's highest levels.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's recent statement impels us to reach out to you directly for answers. His testimony accuses you, Holy Father, and highly placed cardinals of turning a blind eye to former Cardinal McCarrick's egregious behavior, and promoting this predator as a global spokesman and spiritual leader. Is this true?

These are devastating allegations. As USCCB President Cardinal Daniel D. DiNardo recently stated, 'The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.' We agree.

Several crucial questions raised by Archbishop Viganò's statement, however, require neither lengthy investigations nor physical evidence. They require only your direct response, Holy Father. When reporters questioned you recently about Archbishop Viganò's charges, you replied, 'I will not say a single word on this.' You told reporters to 'read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.'

To your hurting flock, Pope Francis, your words are inadequate. They sting, reminiscent of the clericalism you so recently condemned. We need leadership, truth, and transparency. We, your flock, deserve your answers now.

Specifically, we humbly implore you to answer the following questions, as the answers are surely known to you. Archbishop Viganò says that in June 2013 he conveyed to you this message (in essence) about then-Cardinal McCarrick:

'He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.'

Is this true? What did Archbishop Viganò convey to you in June 2013 about then-Cardinal McCarrick?When did you learn of any allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct with adults by then-Cardinal McCarrick?When did you learn of Pope Benedict's restrictions on then-Cardinal McCarrick? And did you release then-Cardinal McCarrick from any of Pope Benedict's restrictions?

Holy Father, in your letter to the People of God on the scandals, you wrote: 'An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be

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