Thursday night, at the conclusion of The World Over, Raymond Arroyo responded to the piece I published Wednesday about his interview last week with the former US papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. His response is below (starting at 55:20):
I want to be as transparent as possible in my response.
Arroyo’s first claim is that I accused him of asking questions around a “pre-taped recording” of Archbishop Viganò’s voice.
It is true that on the morning of November 15, I put forth the theory that Arroyo was speaking to a recording on Twitter. However, as I make clear in my piece (which was published November 18), he responded to me on the evening of November 15 that it was not a recording. I accepted his statement at face value, and it was not part of my conclusion.
What he did not address directly was the question of whether the questions and responses in the interview (with the exception of the one I discuss in the piece) were pre-scripted. Remember, this was not my theory. This was the assertion of Robert Moynihan, who wrote in his Inside the Vatican Letter #37:
The interview was prepared in advanced, [sic] in writing.
He also writes:
Note: The entire text originally prepared for this Arroyo-Viganò interview is below in its entirety; the broadcast interview does not have the complete prepared text, because some prepared sections were omitted from the broadcast interview.
In another section, Moynihan asserts,
Special Note: The following question and answer were not in the prepared interview. So this is the sole question and answer which were completely extemporaneous…
Following that question and answer, Moynihan writes:
Note: Here, in the following question, Arroyo returns to the prepared text of the interview.
Arroyo, by focusing on the claim that he was speaking to a recording, did not adequately address what Robert Moynihan claims: that the interview was pre-scripted, with the questions and answers agreed to in advance (with the exception of one extemporaneous exchange, which was also noted in my piece). He also did not address whether some of Viganò’s more controversial statements (including the deep church/deep state line) were edited out by EWTN.
As I mentioned in my piece, in the process of my investigation I reached out to EWTN Communications and Inside the Vatican by email. I identified myself and Where Peter Is, and asked specific questions, but I received no response. I also asked Arroyo several questions on Twitter. The only response I received was the one I mentioned above. By avoiding my more substantive conclusions in his response, Arroyo certainly raises suspicions that I was on the right track. In my post, I provided a link or screenshot for each piece of information I used in my report. This was so that others can verify for themselves that my reporting was accurate. I have nothing to hide.
My article showed that the questions were clearly pre-agreed, and Viganò wrote out his answers, which were sent beforehand to LifeSite and other outlets. The point of making all this clear is to show that Viganò did not submit himself to a genuine journalistic inquiry, and that Arroyo and EWTN accommodated his demands, while presenting an edited version of the exchange as a real interview. In other words, this was not journalism.
While facts may emerge that prove my conclusions wrong, such facts were not provided by Raymond Arroyo. Regarding his claims about my personal integrity and commitment to the truth, I will let my writing speak for itself.
I stand by what I wrote.
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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.