In it, he describes the former nuncio's accusations as a baseless "political manoeuvre".
Pope Francis meets U.S. Catholic Church leaders Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Horacio Gomez, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, during a private audience at the Vatican, September 13, 2018.
Cardinal Ouellet said in all his meetings with Francis about bishop nominations, he never heard him refer once to McCarrick as a trusted counsellor. "With a pastor's heart, the Holy Father calls us to a path of healing", the statement concluded.
Cardinal Ouellet noted that the June 23 meeting occurred as Francis was meeting with all his ambassadors for the first time, and was gathering an "enormous quantity of verbal and written information" about the church around the world.
Archbishop McCarrick is pictured in a 2001 photo in Washington in Washington.
Ouellet said a review of the files revealed no documents about any sanctions imposed or annulled on McCarrick.
After stepping down as archbishop of Washington in 2006, McCarrick "had been strongly advised not to travel and not to appear in public, so as not to provoke additional rumours in his regard".
The Vatican said that Pope Francis has made a decision to combine the information from that investigation "with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick".
He wrote: "I strongly doubt that McCarrick concerned him (Francis) to the degree you'd like to think, given he was an 82-year-old emeritus archbishop who had been out of a job for seven years".
And, unlike what Archbishop Vigano claimed, there are no documents from Cardinal Ouellet's predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, saying that then-Cardinal McCarrick was ordered to live a life of withdrawal and silence under the threat of canonical penalties. "The reason being that at that time, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged guilt". "Should not the ministers of truth be the first to avoid calumny and defamation themselves?" "They are scandalized by incongruity, they are scandalized by corruption, and as part of this corruption. sexual abuse".
He said the archbishop, who is in hiding and has issued his accusations exclusively through conservative Catholic media which are traditionally antagonistic towards the pope, had let himself "be convinced of this monstrous accusation".
His stinging letter, unusually blunt between churchmen, was a point-by-point rebuttal of Archbishop Vigano's statements. "I therefore consider it to be aberrant that you should profit by the terrible scandal of the sexual abuse of minors in the United States to inflict such an unprecedented and unmerited blow on the moral authority of your Superior, the Supreme Pontiff".
The US Catholic bishops' conference last month issued a dramatic apology for the role of bishops in the church's clergy sexual abuse scandal and announced new initiatives to hold abusive or negligent bishops accountable.
Archbishop Vigano's letters, he said, "inflict a very painful wound" on the church, "which you claim to serve better, aggravating divisions and the bewilderment of the people of God!"