Pope Francis performs marriage ceremony
Pope Francis celebrates the marriage of crew members Paula Podest (C) and Carlos Ciufffardi (L) during the flight between Santiago and the northern city of Iquique, Chile January 18, 2018.Reuters

Pope Francis has said that he will not respond to accusations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who claims that the pontiff had covered up sexual abuse. The Pope dismissed it saying that the documents "speak for itself." 

When asked by reporters for his comments on the accusations while on his flight back to Rome from Ireland, the Pope said he would not utter a single in response to the 11-page letter written by Archbishop Vigano.

"Read the document carefully and judge it for yourself. I will not say one word on this. I think the statement speaks for itself," the Pope said.

The letter was released during the Pope's visit to Ireland during which he addressed sexual abuse by priests and it raised questions whether Pope Francis is under a coordinated attack from traditionalists within the Catholic church.

Archbishop Vigano alleges that the pontiff knew about the sexual abuse allegations by the US cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation in July this year.

Archbishop Vigano claims that in 2013 he informed the Pope that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (88) was accused of abusing junior seminarians and priests.

Archbishop Vigano wrote: "The Pope knew at least since 23 June 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. He knew he was a corrupt man but covered for him till the end".

The letter also reportedly said that the Pope, cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses should resign.

However, Archbishop Vigano, who served as Vatican's envoy to the US from 2011-2016, has not produced evidence of any kind to back his claim that he talked to the Pope on this issue in 2013.

He also said that he wrote to senior Vatican figures in 2006 informing that McCarrick was suspected of abusing adults at a seminary in New Jersey when he was a bishop between 1981-2001.

People in the Vatican believe that the timing of the letter may be part of a planned attack from within the senior echelons of the Church who opposed the Pope ever since he was elected in 2013.

Some traditionalists have been alarmed by the pontiff's informal leadership like baptising a baby on the street and marrying a couple on a flight and Amoris Laetitia, his document about family, made four cardinals release series of queries known as 'dubia'.

Archbishop is known to be an ally of these four cardinals, who publically challenged the Pope to correct his views on family life and have even suggested that when needed, the Pope can be disobeyed and challenged.