Pope Francis reportedly has no intention of resigning

Pope Francis has no intention of stepping down as he fights accusations that he protected a former archbishop accused of sexual abuse, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing “close associates” of the pope.

The pontiff was “embittered” by a letter written by the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, in which the former diplomat accused the pope and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, of knowing of abuse allegedly carried out by the former archbishop in Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the associates said, according to ANSA.

But, they said, Francis, 81, “is not thinking about resignation,” ANSA reported.

PHOTO: Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives to lead the Holy Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin on Aug. 26, 2018, during his visit to Ireland to attend the 2018 World Meeting of Families. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives to lead the Holy Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin on Aug. 26, 2018, during his visit to Ireland to attend the 2018 World Meeting of Families.

Vigano wrote that Francis and Benedict knew that McCarrick — who resigned as a cardinal in July after he was accused of abusing adults and minors — was a “serial predator.”

Reached for comment, McCarrick’s attorney Barry Coburn called Vigano’s words “serious allegations.”

Mark Osborne, Cheyenne Haslett and Clark Bentson contributed reporting to this article.

In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò reads the Apostolic Mandate during the Installation Mass of Archbishop Blase Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral, in Chicago. AP
In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò reads the Apostolic Mandate during the Installation Mass of Archbishop Blase Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral, in Chicago.

This a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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