The Pope’s words were addressed to a crowd of believers, according to a Catholic News Agency video published on their official Youtube channel. Francis said that “with people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family [respond with] silence and prayer.”
“Say your piece and then keep quiet, because the truth is mild, the truth is silent, the truth is not noisy,” he added, referencing Jesus in Luke 4:16-30 when he remained silent in the face of non-believers who wanted to drive him from Nazareth.
Pontiff’s words came after Francis declined to confirm or deny allegations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Francis knew about former DC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick's alleged wrongdoings. “I won’t say a word about it,” Francis told reporters during his trip to Ireland in August.
Vigano claimed Pope Francis “did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject” when he tried to speak on McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuses back in 2015. He also argued that the previous Pope Benedict XVI imposed "canonical sanctions" on McCarrick for misconduct in 2009, which were ignored by Francis.
McCarrick was removed from public ministry this summer in response to the accusations. The Catholic News Agency reported on Monday that there are at least two witnesses who say that McCarrick was told to move out of the seminary back in 2008, and the sources confirm that the meeting between Vigano and Pope Francis really took place in 2015.