The World Meeting of Families was “overshadowed” and “hijacked” by claims that Pope Francis had long been aware of sexual misconduct concerns about former US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Armagh’s Archbishop Eamon Martin has said.
Speaking to Cruxnow.com, the Primate of All-Ireland praised the event as a Church event of “great joy and participation”, and said it was only while those travelling with the Pope were on their way to Knock, ahead of the WMOF2018 closing Mass, that they learned of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s allegations.
“I have to say, personally, I was very saddened,” Dr Martin said. “I was saddened that this was overshadowing what was otherwise a really important celebration of family and the importance of families in the new evangelization of the Faith.
In some ways, I felt our World Meeting of Families had been hijacked in a way by this particular letter.”
Pope Francis dealt with the allegations “very quietly and with great serenity”, he said, noting how the first thing the Pope did on arriving in Knock was to enter the shrine chapel to spend five minutes in silence there.
“No doubt within his mind was all of this stuff swirling around about the Viganò letter, but perhaps he was placing it all at the feet of Our Lady, the Queen of Ireland and asking for her protection and her intercession,” he said.