It is crucial that readers understand the pervasiveness of Opus Dei’s voice and point of view in the Catholic media - and that these influences are rarely, if ever, identified as coming from Opus Dei. During the last three decades, using its numeraries or wealthy supernumeraries or philanthropic cooperators, the Prelature has established and/or taken over many Catholic media outlets including EWTN, the National Catholic Register, and LifeSiteNews. It was through these three media sources that originally brought the Viganò story to the attention of Catholics the world over.
Other Opus Dei media outlets that promoted Viganò’s allegations of corruption at the Vatican and the call for Pope Francis’ resignation include Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Canada, Catholic News Agency (CNA), and ACI Prensa (Spanish) to name a few.
Milanese journalist Aldo Maria Valli Reveals Details of Initial Contact
Thanks to Valli’s posting on his blog of August 27, 2018, titled “So Monsignor Viganò gave me his memorial. And that’s why I decided to publish it,” we have some important information on the initial planning stages of Viganò’s testimony.
According to Milanese journalist Aldo Maria Valli, he received a surprise phone call at his home from Monsignor Carlo Maria Viganò in “almost summer” of 2018, that is in late May or early June.
However, Philip Pullella of Reuters puts the same initial phone call and meeting several months earlier in March 2018.
The discrepancy in dates is of utmost importance because if the March date is correct, then it would demonstrate that Viganò had “in conscience” decided to write his exposé months before the McCarrick scandal involving a minor became public knowledge in mid-June 2018. This would also mean that at least five months went into the planning, timing and execution of Viganò’s testimony before its release on August 25, 2018.
Now, back to the initial phone call from Viganò to Valli.
Viganò explained somewhat nervously that he needed to meet privately outside the Vatican with Valli, and the latter invited the former nuncio to his home for dinner. According to Valli, he and Viganò were casual acquaintances. Each knew the other largely by reputation but not personally.
Viganò drove himself to Valli’s home on the outskirts of Rome at the appointed day and precise time. And after familial introductions were made between Valli’s wife, Serena, and their daughters, a formal meal commenced. during which time Viganò freely lamented the sorry state of affairs at the Vatican.
The former nuncio talked at length, uninterrupted, about his extensive diplomatic career including his experiences as the head of the Vatican City Governorate and papal nuncio to Nigeria and the United States. At some point in his monologue he cited names and circumstances of persons and events related to the Church’s financial solvency and other controversial matters of state.
Valli and his family listened with a sympathetic ear as the 77-year-old diplomat stated his desire to carry out his duties with integrity even in the face of opposition and praised his host for the “courage and freedom” he has demonstrated in his writings.
The dinner ended, Viganò took his leave, and promised Valli that they would meet again.
After his guest had left, Valli said he believed that the initial meeting was a kind of “trial” by which the nuncio sought to determine the trustworthiness of the journalist, and he believed that a close bond of trust and friendship had indeed been forged between Viganò and himself.
Sometime in mid-August 2018, a second meeting was scheduled, again at Valli’s home. This time Viganò focused specifically on the McCarrick homosexual/pederasty scandal in the United States and the recent release of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s August 14, 2018, report on clerical sex abuse in five Catholic dioceses. So the second meeting must have occurred after August 14, 2018.
The nuncio made it clear that everyone in the United States and the Vatican knew about McCarrick’s sexual liaisons with seminarians for years before news of the sexual assault of a minor broke out publicly in late August 2018.
One would be surprised if, indeed, Valli himself, had not been privy to rumors and gossip of McCarrick’s habituation to sodomy via the Vatican grapevine, as this writer knew that McCarrick was a sexual predator of seminarians as early as 1987.
Viganò made a point of stating that the sex abuse issue in the Church centers largely around homosexuality and pederasty, and not pedophilia. Oddly enough, Valli claimed he and his wife “were stunned” by the comment, but he offered no explanation why that would be, given the many clerical homosexual scandals that have ravaged the Vatican in recent years.
Finally, Valli interrupted his guest to ask “Why are you telling us these things? And what do you want from me?”
Viganò briefly explained that he had written a preliminary testimony or memorial on the corruption in the Vatican, including Pope Francis’ role in the cover-up of the McCarrick scandal. He added that he would give the document he prepared not only to Valli, but also to another Italian blogger, an Englishman, an American and a Canadian. Translations of the original document, written in Italian, would be put into Spanish and English.
As the second meeting ended, Viganò promised to meet again with Valli in a few days at which time he would present the journalist with the testimony. Valli had already made up his mind to cooperate with the enterprise.
Viganò’s third meeting with Valli took place at a secret location, at which time the journalist read the 11-page memorial and agreed to publish it on his blog.
In a later phone call, Viganò informed Valli that the date for the publication of Viganò “time bomb” was set for Sunday, August 26, 2018, when Francis would be returning to Rome from his Dublin trip by plane and the pontiff would likely be engaging in one of his notorious spontaneous press conferences. Wasn’t that very clever of Viganò?
It was also at this time that Viganò announced that he planned to go abroad to a secret residence and would remain incommunicado for a period of time. Valli said the two men said good-bye for the last time, but this would turn out not to be accurate, and Valli would continue to have communication with the former nuncio.
Valli’s interim report, “Viganò Speaks: I’m not the crow and I do not act for revenge. I just want the truth to emerge,” appeared on August 28, 2018. In August 31, 2018, the UK Catholic Herald reported that Viganò had given new interviews to Valli as well as Catholic World Report and LifeSite News.
On October 9, 2018, Valli ran another interview with Italian scholar Alessandro Gnocchi on his own blog in support of Viganò. To his credit, Gnocchi insists that the recent scandals at the Vatican are decades old and can be traced back decades prior to the Second Vatican Council.
On October 19, 2018, Viganò sent Valli his third communiqué on the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s open letter disavowing Viganò arguments. Viganò’s response was titled “Monsignor Viganò: ‘Here is how I respond to Cardinal Ouellet. It’s time to come out in the open.” According to Viganò, his testimonies are “to be continued.” About that, there can be no doubt.
Thus far, Viganò has not mentioned Opus Dei in any of his public statements, and neither has Valli. Nor has the Catholic/Vatican press or any secular media mentioned a possible connection between the Viganò affair, Valli and Opus Dei.
About all that most Catholics outside of Italy know about Valli is that he is a journalist, a popular blogger, a “conservative” Catholic, and is married and has six children.
If you look at Wikipedia’s biographical data on Aldo Maria Valli, you will learn some other things about him: He was born on February 3, 1958, in Rho, a municipality of Milan; he graduated from Sacred Heart University in Milan with a degree in political science; from 1980 to 1984, he was the editor of the publishing house Ares and the monthly Studi Cattolicaici, to which he still contributes; by the 1990s, he has established himself in the field of Italian radio and television; in April 1995 he moved to Rome and became a Vaticanist which included following 40 of John Paul II’s journeys around the world; and in the latter part of his media career, he joined TG 3, then TG 1 (the Italian state-owned television news broadcasting offices).
The only reference made to the Prelature in the Wikipedia biography of Valli was the TG 1 television special titled Opus Dei, which aired on September 28, 2008. It traced the controversial history of Opus Dei and its founder and mission.
This fact, in itself, is not any particular proof that Valli is a member of Opus Dei. His association with Ares and Studi Cattolicaici, however, is proof of his strong affiliation to Opus Dei.
You see, Ares is the Milan publishing house of Opus Dei and has exclusive rights in Italy for the works of Josemaría Escrivá, and Studi Cattolicaici (Catholic Studies) is the monthly magazine of Opus Dei. It is “a magazine of culture, a means of dialogue with modern society in its articulated pluralism of ideas and opinions,” and has a wide-international circulation.
So at the age of 22, Valli was assigned the editorship of two of Opus Dei’s prize entities, which means he was initially a celibate numerary of Opus Dei, and later, after he married, he continued his membership in Opus Dei as a supernumerary. Opus Dei would never had outsourced two of its most important literary flagships to an outsider.
It is obvious that Aldo Maria Valli is an important member of Opus
Dei and no important member of the Opus Dei acts without the full approval
of the Prelature headquarters.
It logically follows that the Opus Dei was - and is - behind
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's apparently selfless denouncement
of Francis as an enabler to homosexuality and pederasty in the Vatican
and the Roman Catholic Church at large.
This is most interesting considering that Francis is no more than
a golem of the Opus Dei.