Archbishop Viganò Excommunicated for Rejecting Pope Francis and Vatican II

Archbishop Viganò Excommunicated for Rejecting Pope Francis and Vatican II

On 4 July 2024, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith announced the excommunication "latae sententiae" of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, for abandoning communion with the Bishop of Rome and the Catholic Church. Viganò, who does not recognize the legitimacy of Pope Francis or the Second Vatican Council, incurred the penalty for the reserved delict of schism as per canons 751 and 1364 CIC, and article 2 SST.

The press release from the Dicastery outlined the charges, noting Viganò's public statements rejecting the Supreme Pontiff, the Church's members under him, and the authority of the Second Vatican Council. Following an extrajudicial penal process, Viganò was found guilty, and the Dicastery declared his excommunication in accordance with canon 1364 § 1 CIC, effective 5 July 2024.

Archbishop Viganò, who was informed of the process on 20 June, shared the decree on the social media platform "X." He was given the opportunity to defend himself or appoint an advocate but chose not to respond within the specified time, resulting in a public defender being assigned to his case.

Canon law states that an excommunicated person, under canon 1331, paragraph 1, is prohibited from celebrating or receiving the Sacraments, administering sacramentals, participating in liturgical ceremonies, and exercising any ecclesiastical roles or governance. The second paragraph of canon 1331 details further consequences of the formal declaration of excommunication.

Excommunication is intended as a “medicinal” penalty to encourage repentance and a return to communion. The Dicastery expressed hope for Viganò’s reconciliation with the Church.

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