Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano told Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valli — a Vatican expert with state-run RAI television — that he was "serene and at peace" after publishing his declaration on Sunday, albeit saddened by subsequent attempts to undermine his credibility.
In a blog post Wednesday, Valli transcribed what he said was an interview with Vigano, who had consulted with him in the weeks leading up to publication. Another conservative Italian journalist, Marco Tosatti, actually helped Vigano rewrite and edit the 11-page document, and arranged for its publication.
In the interview, Vigano revisits old Vatican controversies that marked his Vatican career.
Pope Francis has lamented how Irish church authorities failed to respond to the crimes of sexual abuse, speaking during his first public appearance at the Vatican after bombshell accusations that he himself covered up for an American cardinal's misdeeds.
Francis dedicated his general audience Wednesday to his weekend trip to Ireland. The final day of the trip was overshadowed by release of a devastating document from a retired Holy See diplomat accusing Vatican authorities, including Francis, of covering up for ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick despite knowing for years that he slept with seminarians.
Francis omitted from his remarks a line in his prepared text noting how he had prayed in Ireland for the Virgin Mary to intervene to give the church strength to "firmly pursue truth and justice" to help victims heal.