Your thoughts on Viganò's letter to Trump

This article appears in the Your thoughts feature series. View the full series.

On June 6, Archbishop Carlo Mario Viganò, the former papal nuncio to the U.S., published a letter to President Donald Trump in which he praised the president and used veiled language about "the children of light and the children of darkness." Following are letters to the editor responding to NCR's reporting and commentary on the letter. Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

I have an idea how most conservative Catholics will feel about Archbishop Viganò's letter to President Donald Trump, being one of the millions of the "basket of deplorables." They are not horrified but extremely gratified to hear a Catholic clergyman speak "truth to power" in the Catholic hierarchy.

Viganò eloquently stated what so many of us already know. He and Fr. James Altman have breathed new life and energy into faithful, practicing Catholics who are so disappointed and disillusioned by many leaders in the Catholic Church. I sincerely hope that Viganò and Altman have inspired other Catholic clergymen to begin to lead a conservative "Catholic reformation."

Prominent Democratic politicians who claim to be practicing Catholics, led by Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, now not only support abortion but the killing of innocent children who are born after a botched abortion. While these horrors are being promoted by almost all Democratic politicians, most Catholic clergy, with notable exceptions, remain silent and thus are complicit in the slaughter of the innocents.

ANDY MOEYKENS
Newport, Vermont

***

I totally disagree with your article. The archbishop should not have written President Donald Trump as there is a separation between church and state, just like Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who is a liberal bishop, shouldn't have criticized Trump.

And you are wrong as many Catholics do not believe in the Second Vatican Council, which destroyed our church. It was a council that created division and confusion and essentially created a new religion in order to appease the modernists and we have a weak and feeble church 60 years later.

When was the last time you heard any Catholic bishop or priest even remind you there is a hell? Never, because they are taught that we all worship the same God and everyone, even those that deny our Lord, get to heaven, which is totally false.

I pray for this archbishop as I am concerned for his life as he called out the pope last year and is a true shepherd and not a wolf in sheep's clothing

JACK TERRANOVA 
Rockville Centre, New York

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Thank you for providing a forum for such astute, prophetic writers such as Jamie Manson. I have just finished reading "Dear Archbishop Viganò: You're right, a cosmic battle is upon us" and could not be more grateful for her constant perceptive naming of the reality below the narrative.

The cozying up of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Carlo Mario Viganò with President Donald Trump has left my stomach in a knot of distress over my lifelong alliance with the Catholic Church and exaggerated my inner tension between staying and leaving. Reading Manson's open letter and noting your courage in publishing it, strengthens my hope that staying within the church may still yet offer the best hope for institutional change that embraces the gospel instead of the body politic.

Thank you a thousand times over for all you do every day for all of us.

JEAN LOPEZ
St. Louis, Missouri

***

I read with great interest Jamie Manson's column. In it she states "I read with interest your (Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò) recent letter to President Donald Trump. I must say, it looks like you took your tactics from the playbook of your brother prelate New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. You massaged Trump's ego and you were rewarded with something both you and the president crave insatiably: attention."

We are called to speak truth to power — mainly white male privileged Roman Catholic priests and well-to-do organizations such as the Knights of Columbus among others and hold them to transparency and accountability.

Thank you, Jamie, for your generosity, fortitude and just do it/say it. 

ANNE HARTER
Belleville, Illinois

***

Thank you, Jamie Manson, for your strong and clear letter to former Archbishop Carlo Mario Viganò.

Thank you for keeping the teachings of the carpenter of Nazareth at the center of your argument, and not responding to the aggressiveness in which Viganò's letter was written.

I think that if all is us, who are trying to be followers of Jesus, tortured on a cross for being true to his father and to us, strived to live his commandment: "Love one another as I've loved you," all this discussion would have no reason to take place.

Please keep your voice strong and springing from your heart.

MARILÚ DUNCAN
Riverton, Wyoming

***

Jamie Manson's response to Archbishop Carlo Mario Viganò's letter to President Donald Trump is spot on. She said everything I would have said but in a much nicer manner.

Prelates who sell their titles in order to keep power over the Catholic Church community are not symbols of Christ but rather a return of the pharisees. 

They never live among the sheep, as Pope Francis instructed, but rather live in their beautiful residences and judge what they do not know.

The reason? They are afraid of losing their influence and power.

Thank you, Jamie, for speaking for the poor and oppressed. Keep writing.

MARILYN WRANEK
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

***

Thank you for your article reporting on multiple parishes and priests disseminating the letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

I find this letter and its reading at Mass wrong on so many levels. First, the archbishop is a vocal opponent of Pope Francis and a conspiracy theorist. He is openly rebelling against the pontiff. Why does he still hold his title and why do so many bishops and priests think this rebellion is a good thing?

Second, he praises President Donald Trump as his ally "in a cosmic battle between good and evil." Considering Trump's lack of character, it makes me wonder which side the two of them are on.

Third, it is an example of foreign meddling in our elections, a practice which we know Trump welcomes in spite of its illegality.

Finally, it is a clear repudiation of the separation of church and state and a potential threat to the church's tax exempt status.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops are fully in league with the Republican Party as Trump's propaganda has infected the minds of gullible Catholic bishops, priests and parishioners. Catholics who respect the independence of the church and the authority of the pope and who wish to make their own decisions in the voting booth should be horrified by this.

ELLEN TERICH
Temecula, California

***

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò can be thankful for Pope Francis for one thing: If Francis were like his predecessors Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, they would have censored him and ordered him to be quiet!

Francis is willing to allow dialogue.

JAMES OFFENBERGER
Vienna, West Virginia


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