Church envoy begs McCarrick to repent as abuse verdict nears

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2011, file photo, then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2011, file photo, then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The retired Vatican diplomat who accused Pope Francis of turning a blind eye to the alleged sexual misconduct of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is begging the American to publicly repent for his crimes for the good of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrote a letter to McCarrick that was published Monday on an Italian blog, Vigano's way of communicating after he went into hiding following his bombshell accusations against the pope in August.

In the letter, Vigano noted the Vatican is expected to shortly deliver its verdict against McCarrick after gathering testimony from at least three men who accused him of misconduct when they were young.

Vigano said a public show of repentance would be a "gift" to the church to help it heal from the sex abuse crisis.