The talk below is the one Archbishop Vigano intended to give at the 2023 Catholic Identity Conference (CIC). The original plan was for an interview with Michael Matt, the same format as Archbishop Vigano's zoom appearance at the 2022 conference.
That was the plan. But the Archbishop changed the agreed upon agenda just a few days before the conference was to begin and sent in the transcript of his talk.
Inside the Vatican Magazine framed the issue as if a planned talk was cancelled, but there was no talk on the agenda. It was to be a live zoom interview with Matt similar to the one at the 2022 CIC. Frankly, I don't blame Michael Matt for canceling the talk. There were many speakers who agreed to participate in the conference with the theme of unity, not to get into the controversy over the validity of the papacy. Those speakers may have chosen not to participate if they knew it was going to involve arguing over the papal election, especially coming at the tail end of the CIC when there would be no opportunity for real discussion.
If Inside the Vatican knew the format and original agenda for the CIC, I think their statement about the talk was a little dishonest. However, in their defense, they may have been misled by Archbishop Vigano's own words which he posted on his website:
This address was prepared in order to be given at the Catholic Identity Conference. However, at the last minute, it was "deleted" from the roster. It is unfortunate that, in the current climate of fear within the Church, the free exchange of ideas and viewpoints is no longer tolerated. Let us pray for the unity of the Church, that unity which can only be grounded in the Truth, who is Jesus Christ.
I'm sorry to say this did not build my confidence in the archbishop although I agree with much of the transcript. I would be happy to see a conference debating the issue of the Francis papacy with speakers for and against the validity of his reign.
However, that was not the subject of the CIC. To jump from the cancelation over changing the agenda to implying that it was done out of "fear" and "intolerance" is, I think, unfair. I don't think Michael Matt and CIC deserve the vilification that has arisen over this. Let some of the critics join together and offer a conference debating the issues. I respect Archbishop Vigano, but I also respect Bishop Schneider who disagrees with him and I respect Michael Matt and the speakers at the CIC. This is one more unfortunate circular firing squad.
I invited readers yesterday to read Bishop Schneider's opinion. I offer readers Archbishop Vigano's today.
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