"For me and many others, you are a very brave hero"

Excommunication is an honour: Mel Gibson backs Viganò

Vatican City - Even after the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith's guilty verdict, supporters have not left the side of schismatic Carlo Maria Viganò. US director Mel Gibson even hopes to be expelled from the "false church" himself.

Published  on 08.07.2024 at 11:51  – 

The US actor and director Mel Gibson is backing the recently excommunicated Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. "Of course it is an honour to be called a schismatic and excommunicated by Jorge Bergoglio, considering that he is a total apostate and excludes you from the wrong institution," writes Gibson in a letter written in Italian and English and addressed to Viganò on the blog of traditionalist publicist Aldo Maria Valli. Gibson expressed his sympathy that Viganò had to suffer from this "grave injustice". "For me and many others, you are a very brave hero."

In his letter, Gibson emphasised that he agreed with Viganò "100 percent that the post-conciliar church is a false church". He himself therefore had a Catholic church built in which only traditional prayers are held. "You are always welcome to celebrate mass there," said the director. With regard to Pope Francis, he emphasised that he had no authority to excommunicate Viganò. "So you can rejoice! I am with you and hope that Bergoglio will also excommunicate me from his false church," said Gibson. The director is known for his closeness to traditionalist positions and the pre-conciliar liturgy and has already supported Viganò's conspiracy narratives in the past.

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The well-known director is not the only one to declare his support for Viganò. US Bishop Joseph Strickland wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter): "We are in a strange moment in church history where Archbishop Viganò is quickly excommunicated while Theodore McCarrick is not after his years of crimes against the church came to light," said Strickland, who was removed from the leadership of the Tyler diocese in November last year. "We should take a hard look at a Vatican that acts in this way." Instead of dealing with the questions and allegations raised by Viganò, he said, he was summarily removed from the church "obviously with the aim of silencing him". Even before the verdict of the Dicastery of Faith, US actor Jim Caviezel had also called on X to pray for Viganò "in this difficult time" and described him as "a fighter for the truth". Caviezel played Jesus in Gibson's film "Passion of the Christ".

On Friday, the Vatican announced that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had concluded the trial against Viganò with a guilty verdict and that the former nuncio had thus incurred excommunication as a criminal offence. Viganò is now a convicted schismatic. "His public statements are well known, which show his refusal to recognise and submit to the Pope, to communion with the members of the Church subject to him and to the legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council," the dicastery's statement said. The archbishop had previously announced that he would waive his rights of defence and regard the accusation as an honour. At the same time, he accused Pope Francis of schism and heresy. (cbr)