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Patricia Heaton Fires Back at Pope Francis's Response to Catholic Church Abuse Scandal

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2018 Sep 05

On Sunday, “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton, called Pope Francis out for his response to the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal.

In August, Francis was accused by Vatican Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano of ignoring accusations made against Theodore McCarrick. Vigano released an extensive statement last month in which he said, there was a “conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia.”

Following the release of this statement, the Pope responded saying, “Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves.”

Francis then went on to repeatedly ask the public to forgive the church for the abuses but has refused to launch any further investigation into the matter. This was what Heaton addressed on Twitter.

Austen Ivereigh, the founder of Catholic Voices, issued a series of six tweets saying, “SIX THOUGHTS ON THE VIGANÒ DEBACLE. The attempt by the embittered ex-nuncio to get the pope to take the bullet for the McCarrick scandal has been exposed as a fraud, as the pope knew it would be once reporters pored over Viganò’s half-truths & inconsistencies.” 

Ivereigh went on to state that the pope was “clearly innocent” and completed the series of tweets saying, “Finally: Francis’s asking journalists to shine a torch into the Church’s dark corners on behalf of the people of God marks a watershed in the history of the papacy & media. Might this be a way to heal the legacy of institutional idolatry, starting with McCarrick?”

Heaton responded to the last tweet in the series saying, “Or @Pontifex could just release all the records himself and save everyone a lot of unnecessary time and trouble, right? Stop trying to paint obfuscation and coverup as some kind of heroic act.”

After making this comment the two engaged in an argument on Twitter firing back and forth at each other. 

Ivereigh responded to Heaton saying, “I think you may be confusing the pope with the CEO of a corporation who has justify himself to shareholders. The Holy See is a sovereign state; it doesn’t “release records”. Nor does the pope respond to lobbies or pressure groups. Keeping some things private is not “covering up”.

Heaton fired back saying, “Your arrogance is quite bold. The laity is the church. They have sacrificed finances to give their children a Catholic education, have tithed, followed church tradition, looked for guidance. To have any moral authority, @Pontifex must release any reports of abuse. Period.”

According to CBS News, on Monday, following the twitter feud, Francis asked his followers discern when to speak and “when we should stay silent.”

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown/Stringer