Mel Gibson defends conservative Catholic archbishop punished by Vatican: ‘You are a most courageous hero’

Mel Gibson is showing his support for a conservative Catholic archbishop whom the Vatican just excommunicated.

Last Friday, the Vatican officially excommunicated Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, finding him guilty of schism. The conservative leader, who once served as the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, is a critic of Pope Francis. Officially, Viganò was ousted for his “refusal to recognize and submit to the Supreme Pontiff” and for, among other things, questioning the “legitimacy and magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council.”

‘You are a modern day Athanasius! I have all respect for the way you defend Christ and His Church.’

In the Catholic Church, excommunication is a form of censure that bars someone from participating in the sacraments, such as communion, and prohibits their fellowship with the Church. It is meant to encourage repentance and can be repealed.

But Viganò likely has no plans to repent.

“I regard the accusations against me as an honor,” Viganò said last month.

After the Catholic Church took punitive action against Viganò, Hollywood superstar Mel Gibson released a letter supporting him.

“I hope you will continue to say Mass and receive the sacraments yourself — it really is a badge of honor to be shunned by the false, post conciliar church,” Gibson wrote. “You have my sympathies that you suffer publicly this grave injustice. To me and many others you are a most courageous hero.”

Gibson praised Viganò for calling out the “core problems” within the Catholic Church and, more importantly in Gibson’s view, “the illegitimacy of Francis.” Gibson, a Catholic himself, is a sedevacantist, or someone who believes the Holy See is vacant and the last legitimate pope was Pope Pius XII, who died in 1958. Sedevacantists, moreover, reject the authority of the Second Vatican Council.

Later in the letter, Gibson compared Viganò to Athanasius.

Athanasius was a 4th-century Christian leader in Egypt. History remembers him as a chief defender of orthodox Christian theology who fought against the heresies of Arianism. His stand for the truth led him to be repeatedly exiled.

That’s why, according to Gibson, Viganò should wear his excommunication as a “badge of honor.”

“You are a modern day Athanasius! I have all respect for the way you defend Christ and His Church,” Gibson wrote.

LifeSiteNews first reported on Gibson’s letter and confirmed with Gibson himself that the letter is authentic.

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