Pope Francis says the only answer to people sowing division and creating scandal within the Catholic Church is “silence” and “prayer”.
The remarks came on Monday as the pope faces bombshell accusations and resignation calls from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, related to Francis’ alleged cover up of a sexually-abusive cardinal.
The pope said: “With people, who lack goodwill, with people, who are only seeking scandal, who are only seeking division, who are only seeking destruction, even within families: silence. And prayer.”
Francis’ indirect response came from the homily of the Mass he celebrated at his Vatican residence and was published by the official website Vatican News.
Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the US, said in August that Francis lifted sanctions his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had allegedly imposed on Cardinal Thedore McCarrick.
McCarrick, a former Washington archbishop, who is under investigation as a serial abuser of young priests and seminarians, was, according to Vigano, told to retire from public life in 2009-10.
There is no evidence that such an order was ever given to McCarrick, or that Francis revoked it.
Several commentators have framed Vigano’s accusations as part of a conservative onslaught against the pope and his reforms.
When asked directly about Vigano in August, Francis said he intended to “not say a single word on this,” and invited journalists “to draw [their] own conclusions” on the archbishop’s accusations.