Catholic Family News

Vatican Finds Abp. Viganò Guilty of Schism, Declares Automatic Excommunication

Today, the Holy See Press Office issued a press release from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) concerning the case of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, whom the DDF accused of “the crime of schism” in a decree dated June 11. The announcement states:

“On 4 July 2024, the Congress of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith met to conclude the extrajudicial penal process referred to in canon 1720 CIC against the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò, titular Archbishop of Ulpiana, accused of the reserved delict of schism (canons 751 and 1364 CIC; art. 2 SST).

His public statements manifesting his refusal to recognize and submit to the Supreme Pontiff, his rejection of communion with the members of the Church subject to him, and of the legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council are well known.”

The press release continues:

“At the conclusion of the penal process, the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò was found guilty of the reserved delict of schism.

The Dicastery declared the latae sententiae [i.e., automatic] excommunication in accordance with canon 1364 § 1 CIC.

The lifting of the censure in these cases is reserved to the Apostolic See.

This decision was communicated to the Most Reverend Viganò on 5 July 2024.”

Archbishop Viganò responded to the announcement by posting on X (formerly Twitter):

“This is the text of the decree that was sent to me via email today at 1:14 pm Italian time. What was attributed to me as guilt for my conviction is now put on the record, confirming the Catholic Faith that I fully profess.

https://exsurgedomine.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/S.E.R.-Mons.-Vigano.pdf

I say to my brother Bishops: ‘If you are silent, the stones will cry out’ (Lk 19:40).”

The link provided by His Grace leads to the DDF’s 11-page penal decree against him (in the original Italian), dated July 4, which presents at length the details of the canonical case and the statements of his which, according to the DDF, constitute evidence of his “his refusal to recognize and submit to the Supreme Pontiff, his rejection of communion with the members of the Church subject to him, and of the legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council,” as the above press release states.

Archbishop Viganò first made public the DDF’s charge of schism on June 20, the date on which he was supposed to present himself in Rome (something he confirmed he did not do), stating in response:

“I regard the accusations against me as an honor. 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.”

“No Catholic worthy of the name can be in communion with this ‘Bergoglian church,'” he went on, “because it acts in clear discontinuity and rupture with all the Popes of history and with the Church of Christ.” He also identified himself with the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991), founder of the Society of St. Pius X, proclaiming: “His defense is mine; his words are mine; and his arguments are mine,” while also inviting “all Catholics to pray that the Lord will come to the aid of His Church and give courage to those who are persecuted for their Faith.”

On June 28, the deadline for Archbishop Viganò to either appear in Rome or provide a written defense, he instead released a new statement in which he accused “Jorge Mario Bergoglio of heresy and schism, and I ask that he be judged as a heretic and schismatic and removed from the Throne which he has unworthily occupied for over eleven years.” Furthermore, he maintains that “the errors and heresies to which Bergoglio adhered before, during, and after his election, along with the intention he held in his apparent acceptance of the Papacy” — something Viganò calls a “lack of consent” elsewhere — “render his elevation to the throne null and void,” meaning he considers the See of St. Peter to be vacant at present.

Stay tuned to our website and podcasts for further commentary and analysis as this story develops. In the meantime, we recommend the following videos:

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Matt Gaspers

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.

Matt Gaspers

Avatar photo

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.