Above left, Italian professor Roberto De Mattei and, right, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.
De Mattei has just published a startling accusation: that Archbishop Viganò is not the true author of many of the letters he has published in the past year, but that they have been written by one or more “fake Viganòs,” though with Viganò’s blessing (because Viganò signs the letters), and De Mattei has called for a clarification of the matter.
Viganò has just responded, saying the allegation is totally, utterly false. Everything he has signed he has written with his own hand, he says.
Based on my knowledge of the Archbishop — I spent many days with him in 2018, wrote a book about those conversations and have been in regular contact with him ever since, including speaking with him on this matter by phone just yesterday — my judgment is that the archbishop is telling the truth.
There is only one Archbishop Viganò.
He reads, he researches, he reflects and he writes. And then he signs his letters. They are his: and if some error in them would be brought to his attention, he would be willing, like St. Augustine at the end of his life, to print a retraction.
He has no “double,” despite what Dr. De Mattei may believe.—RM
Letter #38, 2021, Tuesday, June 22: A Startling Accusation
“The question we pose is therefore this: analysis of the language and content of the documents produced by Archbishop Viganò during the years 2020-2021 reveals an author different from that of the years 2018-2019. But if Archbishop Viganò is not the author of his writings, who now is filling in his words, and perhaps even his thoughts? We would never have opened the case if so many good traditionalists were not presenting as a quasi-magisterium the statements, not of Archbishop Viganò, but of his ‘double.‘” —Italian professor Dr. Roberto De Mattei, June 21, in an article published on his website, Corrispondenza Romana (link to the original Italian and link to an English translation; the full text is also below)
Dr. De Mattei — a leading, generally conservative Catholic intellectual in Italy who has been a friend of Archbishop Viganò for many years — made a startling allegation two days ago which has gone viral.
That there are “two Viganòs.”
De Mattei accused Viganò of having a “double,” a “stand-in,” a kind of “false Viganò” who — and this is De Mattei’s central allegation — has written many of the “Viganò letters” over the past year or so which Viganò has signed.(!)
De Mattei says at the end of his essay that Viganò was contacted privately and confronted with this allegation.
Evidently, Viganò assured De Mattei that there was no truth to the allegation.
Why then has Dr. De Mattei issued this public accusation, if Viganò already told him (as it appears) that it is not true?
Evidently, because the matters that Viganò has been touching on in the past year (the “global reset,” the national lockdowns, the virus, the various vaccinations, all such social and political matters, but also the archbishop’s increasing focus on the beauty and holiness of the old Mass, and his tracing of a certain rejection of traditional Catholic teaching (which might be termed “modernism”) back to the 1960s, and before, rather than seeing it only in the years of this present pontificate) are very disturbing to some — more disturbing than Viganò’s revelations of corruption and coverup in the Roman Curia, which were the main burden of Viganò’s early letters, and which never provoked the suggestion that Viganò had a double.
In other words, as is often popularly said, “When you are over the target, the anti-aircraft fire intensifies.”
Viganó has touched a nerve, and one of his old friends has now placed in the public domain an article which will inevitably leave a trace of doubt, because many will say, “Well, some think there are two Viganò’s…”
In this sense, a certain damage has been done to the archbishop’s reputation and credibility by the public circulation of this allegation.
So again, why?
Part of the answer may lie in the fact that a few weeks ago Dr. De Mattei — as Viganò notes in his response to the accusation below — came out in support of the worldwide use of the presently available emergency injections (called “vaccinations” though they are not vaccines) as a way of stemming the pandemic. (link) De Mattei’s embrace of this position was quite influential for other conservative Catholics (link).
De Mattei contended that such use was moral even if the injected material was in some way derived from the use of aborted fetal tissue, something Archbishop Viganò has repeatedly denounced as immoral.
De Mattei asked: “1) Is it morally licit to use vaccines against COVID-19 that use cellular lines coming from aborted fetuses?” And he answered: “There is… a reply that is more easily accessible for the Catholic with good sense, and this is it: it is licit to be vaccinated [even if the vaccine is derived from the cells of aborted human fetuses] because the Church assures of this, through its most authoritative doctrinal body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”
It is in that moment that the first “rift” between the position of Dr. De Mattei diverged from the position of Archbishop Viganò.
So this is the point: the battle over the control of the narrative in our time has just intensified.
The Viganò Case: The Archbishop and His Double (link)
June 21, 2021 – 12:07
By Dr. Roberto De Mattei
The pontificate of Pope Francis is heading into the sunset, as many admit by now, but a sunset can be stormy and no one knows how deep a night will follow it before the dawn finally comes up.
Cardinal Marx’s resignation from the archdiocese of Munich is one of the signs of the gathering storm, but there is another threatening cloud, all the more troubling in that it is brought not by the wind of progressivism, but by the wind of what is called traditionalism. The cloud has the shape, if not the identity, of an illustrious prelate: the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò, titular archbishop of Ulpiana and former apostolic nuncio in the United States. So what is happening?
Archbishop Viganò has distinguished himself in service to the Church, always carried out with generosity and a spirit of dedication. After a brilliant diplomatic career, from 2009 to 2011 he was secretary of the Governorate of Vatican City, making many enemies through the decisiveness with which he acted to rehabilitate the finances of the Holy See. In 2011, Benedict XVI appointed him apostolic nuncio in the United States of America. He performed brilliantly in this position until April 12 of 2016, after he had reached the age of 75, when Pope Francis accepted his resignation. As Archbishop Viganò himself revealed on June 23 of 2013, he was received by the new pontiff and with his customary frankness brought him up to speed on the disastrous situation of part of the clergy in the United States, with particular reference to the case of Cardinal McCarrick.
The pope listened to him but did nothing, and on the contrary allowed the situation to get worse. The Bergoglian pontificate reached the acme of its crisis after the promulgation of the Exhortation Amoris Laetitia of March 19 2016. Archbishop Viganò’s growing concern drew him closer to the Catholics who were showing a spirit of filial resistance toward Pope Francis. Finally, on August 22, 2018, the former nuncio of the United States published a dramatic testimony in which he brought to light the existence of a network of corruption in the Church, calling out those responsible, starting with the highest ecclesiastical authorities. Archbishop Viganò’s revelations were never denied, but on the contrary confirmed by the measures that Pope Francis took against Cardinal McCarrick. Fearing for his safety but also for the sake of discretion Archbishop Viganò withdrew to a secret location where he still resides. Other statements followed the courageous first declaration, from the document Scio cui credidi of September 28, 2018 to the long interview with the Washington Post of June 10, 2019. What characterized these statements was that they were rare and circumscribed in their contents. Archbishop Viganò expressed himself firmly, but only on matters of which he had direct knowledge, with simplicity and nobility of language. This was the basis of his credibility.
In 2020, the year of the pandemic, something unexpectedly changed and a new Archbishop Viganò appeared onstage. When we speak of a “new” Archbishop Viganò, we are naturally not referring to his private persona but to his public identity, as appears from the barrage of statements that he began to publish, starting with the May 8 2020 appeal against the “New World Order.” This appeal did not fail to raise serious doubts in the Catholic world close to him, to the point of driving some of his friends and admirers not to endorse it. The tone of his ever more numerous publications became pompous and sarcastic, and the topics expanded to the fields of theology and liturgy, in which he had always said he had no expertise, stretching even to considerations of geopolitics and the philosophy of history, extraneous to his way of thinking and expressing himself. Two themes dear to the traditionalists, the liturgy and Vatican Council II, became his hobbyhorse, in the context of a philosophy of history dominated by the idea of a “great reset,” which through medical dictatorship and mass vaccination would lead to the extermination of humanity. Pope Francis, generally referred to as “Bergoglio,” would be one of the architects of this plan.
To those who knew him best, or those who had paid close attention to his statements, it was immediately clear that there were discrepancies between Archbishop Viganò’s statements of 2020-2021 and those of 2018-2019. One question keeps growing more insistent: is Archbishop Viganò really the author of the writings of the past year?
At this point a clarification has to be made. Using contributors for one’s own statements does not in itself have anything terrible about it. Popes and heads of state routinely use “ghost writers” who carry out research for them or give literary form to their ideas. Often athletes and performers also turn to journalists when writing their books of impressions or memoirs.
But there are two risks to keep in mind. First of all, someone who signs a text, whether he is the author or not, takes responsibility for it in terms of both the form and the content of the statement, and must be very careful to keep his thought and language from coming across as distorted.
In the second place, someone who acknowledges paternity of a text should give general guidelines so that the writer may act as his arm and not as his mind. It would in fact be dangerous for the “ghost writer” to be the one to determine the line of thought of the text’s signatory. And this can happen when the invisible author overshadows the visible one, on account of greater expertise or power of personality.
An even more dangerous situation would be the creation of such a relationship of dependence that the visible author could no longer do without the invisible one, whose disappearance or desire to push unacceptable content would create for the visible author a dramatic “communication void.”
The question we pose is therefore this: analysis of the language and content of the documents produced by Archbishop Viganò during the years 2020-2021 reveals an author different from that of the years 2018-2019. But if Archbishop Viganò is not the author of his writings, who now is filling in his words, and perhaps even his thoughts?
We would never have opened the case if so many good traditionalists were not presenting as a quasi-magisterium the statements, not of Archbishop Viganò, but of his “double.” A clarification is necessary for the good of the Church and of souls who have in Archbishop Viganò a point of reference, but also for the sake of the prelate who has served the Church so well and could continue to serve it. (Roberto de Mattei)
P.S. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has already been informed in private, by several persons, of the existence of this problem, for more than a year now.
Archbishop Viganò’s Response to the Accusation
And here is the complete text of Archbishop Vigano’s response to De Mattei’s accusation (link):
Archbishop Viganò: Concerning some declarations of Professor Roberto de Mattei which recently appeared at Corrispondenza Romana
“If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but I have spoken well, why do you strike me? —Jn 18:23
Posted by Lifesitenews on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 – 10:52 am EST
By Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
The article The Viganò Case: The Archbishop and His Double, which appeared yesterday at Corrispondenza Romana in both Italian and English, signed by Professor Roberto de Mattei, has been pointed out to me.
I am unable not to express my amazement at the statements that an illustrious Catholic intellectual, hailed as a champion of Tradition and who has not spared the Hierarchy criticism that is at times severe but always carefully considered and just, felt that he had to make in my regard.
In reality, it would have been enough to consult me verbally or by letter in order to dispel his suspicions and feel reassured that all of my writings, declarations, and interviews which I have given are the fruit of a maturation of convictions of which I proudly claim full paternity.
The idea that I have a “double” must be the fruit of some adviser to whom Professor de Mattei has improvidently lent his faith, without realizing that by doing so he has exposed himself to the public refutation of completely unfounded allegations, which also sound, if I may be allowed to say so, not very charitable in my regard.
I am therefore taking the opportunity afforded by his article to deny his impudent and fanciful theses, reassuring those who have the goodness to read me and listen to me that there is no ghost writer, and that by the grace of God I still have full possession of my faculties, I am not manipulated by anyone, and I am absolutely determined to continue my apostolic mission for the salvation of souls.
In other times, de Mattei would have been proud to be at my side in the common battle for Catholic truth, for the defense of the immutable Magisterium and of the venerable Traditional Liturgy against the assaults of the Modernists. He would have probably also been at my side in denouncing the pandemic fraud and the intrinsic immorality of experimental vaccines produced with fetal material derived from abortions.
His recent interventions – published with his own name or under a pseudonym – have demonstrated, not without heartfelt sorrow, that if there is a “double” it must be sought in the recent writings of the Professor; writings that seem to be composed by a dull regime official who is obedient to the mainstream narrative, and not by the sharp mind and genuine faith of the de Mattei I once knew. Quantum mutatus ab illo. [“How much he has changed since that time.”]
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
June 22, 2021
S. Paulini, Episcopi et Confessoris