The Vatican Activates Extrajudicial Proceedings Against Archbishop Viganò

Source: FSSPX News

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published on the internet the letter from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF). It notified him of his summons to appear at the DDF Palace on June 20, after the opening of an “extrajudicial” criminal trial against him. 

A Little Explanation

What is an extrajudicial criminal trial? According to the DDF Vademecum published on June 5, 2022, the extrajudicial criminal trial, sometimes called an “administrative trial,” is a form of criminal trial which reduces the formalities provided for in the judicial trial in order to accelerate the course of justice. It does not eliminate the procedural guarantees required for a fair judgment.

For offenses reserved to the DDF, it is up to the DDF alone, on a case-by-case basis, ex officio or at the request of the Ordinary, to decide whether to proceed this way. Just like a judicial trial, an extrajudicial criminal trial can take place at the DDF – which is the case for Viganò – or be entrusted to a lower authority.

The Accusations Made by the DDF

The decree of summons mentions the charge Viganò will face during the trial. The crime of schism is put forward, because of certain public affirmations negating the elements necessary to maintain communion with the Catholic Church: denial of the legitimacy of Pope Francis; rupture of communion with him; and rejection of the Second Vatican Council.

Following this summons, Viganò published a communiqué, available online, to respond to these accusations. He defends himself in various ways, invoking the doctrinal wanderings of the current pontificate; rejecting neo-modernist errors; and asserting his case compares to that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, also summoned in his time to the Palace of the former Holy Office .

There is, however, one point which significantly differentiates him from the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X: Archbishop Viganò makes a clear declaration of sedevacantism in his text. In other words, according to him, Pope Francis is not pope.

How does he explain this? Because of a “defect of consent” from Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio when accepting the papacy. That is, according to Viganò, Cardinal Bergoglio considered the papacy as something other than what it really is. He accepted the pontifical office without fully consenting, and this error resulted in the nullity of his acceptance. His pontificate would therefore be that of a place-holder.

Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society he founded have not ventured down that perilous road.