FILE - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall assembly in Baltimore, MD.
FILE - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall assembly in Baltimore, MD.

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican ambassador who accused Pope Francis of rehabilitating a disgraced ex-American cardinal is doubling down on his claims, asserting that the "scourge of homosexuality" in the priesthood is responsible for sex abuse and that the Vatican is being hypocritical in refusing to acknowledge it.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano issued a third installment Friday in the war of words over the cover-up of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. He was responding to a Vatican cardinal who had rebuked him and accused him of mounting a "blasphemous" political hit job against Francis with his claims.

Vigano accurately noted that Cardinal Marc Ouellet actually confirmed the core of his allegations: that McCarrick was placed under some form of restriction during Pope Benedict XVI's papacy because of allegations he pressured seminarians to sleep with him.