Much of the dissent has remained within the Vatican walls, as Francis’s opponents worked to stonewall reforms. A few high-ranking church leaders have questioned him publicly about his teachings. But the simmering opposition has suddenly exploded across the Catholic world, with a former Vatican ambassador accusing the pope of covering up sexual abuse — and demanding that Francis step down.
The accusations came in a 7,000-word letter written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that could be viewed as an act of courage or unprecedented defiance. Either way, it sheds light on the opposition movement, and particularly its insistence that homosexuality within the church — and Francis’s inability to keep it at bay — is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis."
...“We are a step away from schism,” said Michael Sean Winters, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. “I think there is a perception among the pope’s critics that there is vulnerability here — on the part of the pope and in the Vatican generally.”
...In the letter, Viganò goes into detail about years of failures to act within the Vatican bureaucracy, and he describes “dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening.” He mentions “homosexual networks” within the church and quotes an academic who cites such networks as a core reason for clergy abuse.
“The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced,” Viganò wrote."