Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò announced on June 28 that he will not participate in a Vatican summons to face charges of schism.

The archbishop had received an email from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith informing him of the trial, with the deadline to appear on the same day.

In a statement shared on social media, Viganò accused Pope Francis of “heresy and schism” over his promotion of COVID-19 vaccines and the 2018 Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops. He said “the errors and heresies to which Pope Francis adhered before, during, and after his election … render his elevation to the throne null and void.”

Viganò also referenced his long-standing service to the Church, saying “I have no reason to consider myself separate from communion with the Holy Church and with the papacy, which I have always served with filial devotion and fidelity.” He disclosed that he did not send any materials in his defense to the Dicastery because he does “not recognize the authority of the tribunal that claims to judge me.”

Viganò finally asked that Pope Francis be “judged as a heretic and schismatic and removed from the throne which he has unworthily occupied for over 11 years.”

Photo credit: George Martell CC BY-ND 2.0 via Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Flickr
Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!