Catholic archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, was summoned to the Vatican today for a trial that will decide whether he will be found guilty of the crime of “schism” for rejecting the legitimacy of Pope Francis and the Second Vatican Council.

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith informed Viganò of this today, according to his website. The Church authorities are also holding his responsible for rejecting communion with the Pope.

I regard the accusations against me as an honor,” Viganò wrote. “I believe that the very wording of the charges confirms the theses that I have repeatedly defended in my various addresses. It is no coincidence that the accusation against me concerns the questioning of the legitimacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the rejection of Vatican II: the Council represents the ideological, theological, moral, and liturgical cancer of which the Bergoglian “synodal church” is the necessary metastasis.”

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The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was an ecumenical council held by Pope John XXIII to encourage the Catholic priesthood to adapt to modern times and liberalize the Church’s methods to give it a more widespread appeal. This included a new form of the mass (the “Novus Ordo,” replacing the “Tridentine”), approval to deliver the mass in vernacular languages rather than Latin, the encouragement of interfaith dialogue, the explicit declaration that Jewish people do not bear the responsibility of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, approval to televise masses, and the approval to consider Biblical texts in their historical context rather than purely as scripture.

The signee of the letter, Monseigneur John Joseph Kennedy, is not in fact related to the Kennedy family of American political fame. This Kennedy, the Secretary for the Disciplinary Section, was born in Dublin in 1968.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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