Response to division and scandal should be silence and prayer – Pope

Response to division and scandal should be silence and prayer – Pope

Pope Francis has said the answer to division and scandal should be silence and prayer, and asked the Lord for the grace to discern when it is better to speak or to remain quiet.

“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 answer is “silence and prayer” he said during Mass at the Vatican’s Santa Marta guest house this week.

“May the Lord give us the grace to discern when we must speak and when we must be silent. And [to do] in all of life: in work, at home, in society…to become more closely imitators of Jesus Christ.”

This echoes an essay he wrote in 1990 which focused on the need for silence. Named ‘Silencio y palabra’ (Silence and Word), he wrote it in a Jesuit residence in Córdoba, central Argentina.

His homily comes after an 11-page statement was published on August 26 by former US nuncio Archbishop Vigano who accused Church officials, including Pope Francis, of failing to act on accusations of abuse of conscience and power by now-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Archbishop Vigano claimed he told Pope Francis about Cardinal McCarrick in 2013.

Speaking to reporters traveling back to Rome with him from Dublin on August 26, Pope Francis called on them to read Archbishop Vigano’s statement carefully “and make your own judgment”.

“I think the statement speaks for itself, and you have a sufficient journalistic ability to make a conclusion,” the Pope said.


In his homily this week, Francis reflected on Jesus’ response to the people who, St Luke recounts, were “filled with fury” at Jesus’ words in the synagogue. As it says in the day’s Gospel, the people “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.”

Those who drove Jesus out of the city were not people, but “a pack of wild dogs” Pope Francis said. They shouted instead of using reason, and in the face of this, Jesus’ response was to remain silent.