A Catholic priest e-mails:

I have been paying attention to this for some time. Some times I’ve even been critical of your reporting, to be honest, but I am seeing now that the critiques of Francis especially are all true, and enough is enough.

Between seminary and ordination, I have spent all my time trying to defend Francis. Ive bent over backwards to be his defender because he is the Pope and deserves that respect.

I can tell you that yesterday Francis lost my trust.

His comments weren’t just dismissive to the journalists, they were dismissive to all Catholics who want transparency and truth. Yesterday he showed me his hand, and it broke my heart. I wanted a father to speak truth to us, and instead we got politicking.

I may be wrong in all this, and somehow the facts will prove Francis innocent. But I highly doubt that now. Vigano wouldn’t have said these things without proof, he knows there’s documentation for everything he said.

I will pray for Francis because he deserves prayer like everyone. But I will not listen to him anymore. He lost me. I am a son abandoned. And I will just try to be faithful to the people of my parish and to my own sanctification and the sanctification of the church.

You’re free to publish this on the blog, I just ask that my name not be attached to it. I appreciate you taking our desire for anonymity seriously.

Another priest — this one Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix — has made his position on the Vigano letter known. Here’s a link to his statement. Full remarks here:

I have known Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for 39 years. We became colleagues in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See in August 1979, where he had been serving prior to my entrance into this work in service to the ministry of Pope John Paul II.

Although I have no knowledge of the information that he reveals in his written testimony of August 22, 2018, so I cannot personally verify its truthfulness, I have always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity. St. Paul says of priests: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Cor 4:1-2). That is how I have consistently found Archbishop Viganò.

For this reason, I ask that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony be taken seriously by all, and that every claim that he makes be investigated thoroughly. Many innocent people have been seriously harmed by clerics like Archbishop McCarrick; whoever has covered up these shameful acts must be brought to the light of day.

Another priest e-mailed today to say that the Vigano letter was the first hopeful thing he has seen in ages. Why? Because at last, the truth is out, and the Church can discuss the elephant in the sacristy.

I heard something similar today in a phone conversation with a well-connected layman in New York. He said the Vigano letter was for him a cause of joy. He said Catholics have lived for so long with these lies, and with even conservative priests and prelates unwilling to speak the truth about what’s really been going on in the Church, out of fear of scandalizing people with the sordid truth about the Church.

“It’s war now,” he said. “It’s going to be long, and it’s going to be ugly, and a lot of people are going to get hurt. But the lying is over, thank God. We’ve needed to have this out for 40 years.”

Archbishop Vigano said in his letter:

In other words, he kept silence because he hoped that the Catholic hierarchy could reform itself from within. But he is now speaking because the corruption of the Pope and senior members of the hierarchy have robbed him of that hope.

Archbishop Vigano had the courage that so many orthodox Catholic prelates and laymen have long lacked. Maybe his example will help these men to find their chests. If they don’t speak out against the corruption now, what will it take?

In the Orthodox Church, we speak of Great Lent as a time of “bright sadness.” It is a period of penance and mourning, but the brightness comes from the hope that there will be an end to our suffering, in the Paschal feast of resurrection. I’m hearing in the voices of some of my Catholic correspondents a bright sadness over the Vigano letter. They are weary of being ground down for decades by official lies and collective denial, and see in this act of rebellion hope for the future.