In an interview this week, President Trump addressed the issue of sexual abuse that has rocked the Catholic Church .
“It’s so sad to watch,” Trump told The Daily Caller in an interview published Wednesday. “To me it’s one of the sadder stories ’cause I respect so much the Catholic Church. And to me it’s a very sad story.”
President Trump noted that the scandal is going to have “a really negative impact on the Catholic Church.”
Following the Pennsylvania grand jury report that accused 300 priests of participating in the sexual abuse of minors (mostly pubescent boys) over a 70-year period and the local bishops of covering the crimes up, Pope Francis became embroiled in the scandal due to an explosive testimony from one of his former ambassadors, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
In the 11-page letter, Vigano alleged that Pope Francis knew about the sexually abusive Cardinal McCarrick of D.C. and did nothing to stop him, going so far as to charge that the Roman Pontiff lifted sanctions that were imposed upon him by Pope Benedict. Thus far, the claims of the Archbishop’s testimony has held up to much scrutiny.
Regarding Cardinal McCarrick, President Trump said he was “surprised” by the accusations because “everyone know him.”
“I’m surprised at McCarrick, everyone knew him and so incredible to see these things. It’s devastating for the Catholic Church,” Trump said.
President Trump did not use the moment to attack Pope Francis, a man who has been critical of his presidency on immigration issues. Instead, Trump said the pope is “handling” the crisis “the best anyone can handle it.”
“The pope is handling it, I guess the best anyone can handle it,” Trump said. “How is he going to handle it?”
President Trump deflected questions about whether U.S. leadership should resign over the McCarrick scandal.