VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican Communications Office on Wednesday corrected the Italian transcript of Pope Francis' comments on spoiled ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Previously, it had omitted Francis's claim that he could not remember whether he had been told in 201
The omission gave the impression that Francis refused to know what was about McCarrick, while the full comment originally only delivered in the Spanish version shows that he could not remember. This distinction is the reason for the scandal of the Vatican year-long cover of McCarrick.
The Vatican Communications Coordinator, Andrea Tornielli, said Wednesday that the inconsistency was due to the rapid turnaround time for translating a long interview from Spanish to Italian, and that the original Spanish was considered the reference text.
Within minutes of being asked by The Associated Press, the correct version of the quote followed on the Italian website for the Vatican News Portal, the Vatican News. The interview was conducted on May 21 by Valentina Alazraki, the long-standing Vatican correspondent for Mexico's Televisa.
The issue concerns claims of the retired Vatican ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that he told Francis in a private person in June 2013 that McCarrick had "destroyed a generation" of seminars while he was a rising star in the US church.
In February, Francis quit McCarrick after a church investigation that he had sexually abused minors as well as adult seminars.
The scandal has caused a crisis of credibility in the Catholic hierarchy, because it was an open secret in the circles of the Vatican and the American Church that the retired Archbishop of Washington pressed seminars to share a bed with him. The accusations he mistreated a minor raised only in 2017.
Until the interview was released on Tuesday, Francis had refused to respond to Vigano's claims and told reporters to investigate it himself.
In the Spanish version of the interview, Francis said he "knew nothing, of course nothing nothing" about McCarrick. "I have said many times that I didn't know it, no idea. And when this guy (Vigano) said he told me that day, he came … I can't remember if he told me about this if it is true or not, no idea! "
The original Italian version omitted Francis' reference to not remembering whether Vigano told him about McCarrick and quoted only Francis as saying he did not know something about McCarrick.
Vigano accusations have been used by Francis Conservative critics to attack him as they apparently show that Francis ignored information that McCarrick pursued seminars and rehabilitated him from restrictions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.  As a result, Francis did not claim to remember whether Vigano told him that McCarrick now corresponds to his defense against such criticism.
Last year, the Vatican Communications Office published a documented photograph and a partial quote from a letter written by retired Pope Benedict XVI who mistakenly represented his complete meanning. The then prefect of the communications office had to resign as a result.