Christopher White writes:
When Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the disgraced former papal nuncio to the United States, released an unprecedented and soon discredited letter in 2018 alleging Pope Francis’ complicity in covering up for former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s history of abuse, San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone came to Viganò’s defense.
Despite Viganò’s shocking call for Pope Francis’ resignation, Cordileone was joined by a number of U.S. bishops who bolstered the testimony of the former nuncio. Among them, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, all of whom issued personal statements or gave interviews echoing Cordileone’s praise of Viganò as a man of faith and integrity.
Today, those same bishops are also driving the controversial efforts aimed at pressing the U.S. bishops’ conference to draft a document that will have far sweeping effects to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support pro-choice legislation….
Many of the bishops now leading the push to deny pro-choice Catholic politicians Communion have been interconnected through a web of conservative Catholic organizations resistant towards Pope Francis and favorable to former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
One of the primary organizations behind the resistance effort is the Napa Institute, which regularly holds high-end conferences that provide a platform to some of the pope’s most notorious critics. Attendees pay $2,600 in registration fees (plus hotel resort fees and travel expenses) to attend talks from high-ranking conservative bishops and priests, along with politicians such as Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum, while attending wine and cigar receptions in Napa Valley.
One of the inspirations for the Napa Institute was now-retired Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who served as its inaugural ecclesiastical adviser and who has been among the most vocal prelates against President Joe Biden.
Included on Napa’s current ecclessiastical advisory board are Aquila, Cordileone, Gomez and Paprocki. Naumann is among those slated to take part in this summer’s conference, along with Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who has repeatedly defied Pope Francis and the Vatican on the moral efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, endorsed a video claiming that one cannot be a faithful Catholic and a Democrat, and offered a prayer at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington last December, which falsely alleged widespread election fraud.
You can read his full report here.