A top Roman Catholic official called for a three-day fast in support of those who are incarcerated for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol protest.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is the former Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., and he said he will fast from Tuesday through Thursday as a commemoration of the second anniversary of Jan. 6.
In a letter to Human Events, the archbishop detailed his motivation for stepping up and encouraging those detained by the government for their roles in the protest.
Vigano said that he hoped “this initiative will find many adherents, in the spirit of true reparation of the innumerable sins and grave betrayals committed.”
The church official added that “I can only encourage and bless this commendable gesture of penance, to be accompanied by prayer — above all, the Holy Rosary, for the beloved Nation which I had the privilege of knowing during my office as Apostolic Nuncio.”
The government has charged 964 people for the events of the day, and 465 already pled guilty to the mostly misdemeanor offenses. However, Human Events reported that hundreds more remain in jails in the Washington, D.C. area pending trial.
Vigano’s plea for fasting was made to attorney Joseph McBride, who has handled the legal defenses for many of the accused.
McBride explained his professional efforts as part of his job as “an American Catholic Civil Rights Attorney.” He said he is tasked to “defend…every January Sixer in the most devoted and intelligent way possible.”
The outspoken archbishop is no stranger to controversy and taking strong stands. He once called President Joe Biden a “self-styled Catholic” over his refusal to adhere to church teachings on abortion and other issues.
He also criticized COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Vigano made headlines in 2018 when he accused several Vatican officials, including Pope Francis, of covering up accusations made against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The retired archbishop of Washington, D.C. was ultimately expelled from the priesthood for acts against minors.
It is refreshing to see the attention given by a prominent church official to those who continue to languish in jail awaiting trial for their parts in the protest. Archbishop Vigano deserves credit for standing up for the accused, even when most have forgotten their plights and moved on.