For those concerned about abuse scandals, Pope Francis prescribes prayer … and silence

DCNFJoshua Gill, DCNF

Pope Francis said Monday that the remedy for those clamoring about the church’s abuse scandals and recent cover-up allegations is prayer and more silence.

Francis made the comments during his Monday homily at mass in the Vatican, following not only the fallout over Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse in six dioceses, but also rising furor over Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s allegations that Francis and others covered up reports of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuses. Francis told reporters in August he would “not say a word” about the allegations and seemed to recommend a similar approach of silence for those attending his homily, according to The Associated Press.

“With people who do not have good will, with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within families,” the solution is “silence. And prayer,” Francis said, according to Crux Now.

Francis compared the church’s situation to a scene from the Gospel of Luke in which Jews in the synagogue were “filled with fury” over Jesus’ teachings and drove him out of the city.

The gospel writer says they “rose up, drove [Jesus] out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill … to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.”

Francis claimed those who drove Jesus out of the city were “a pack of wild dogs,” not people, as they forsook reason and gave into anger. He also equated it with Jesus’ response of silence to those who demanded his crucifixion. Christian faithful should therefore, according to Francis, remain silent in the face of those who won’t see the truth.

The gospel writers never claimed, however, that Jesus had to contend with credible allegations of abuse and systematic cover-up, unlike current Catholic leadership.


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