Catholic women are calling on Pope Francis to do something about the ongoing sex abuse scandal.
In August 2018, the papacy and the entire Roman Catholic church was hit by claims of a cover-up for the then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusive behavior with seminarians since at least 2000.
This claim was made in a 7000-word letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. He wrote, ” Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them.”
Reacting to this allegation, over 44,000 Catholic women have signed a letter calling on the Pope to offer much-needed answers. In the letter, organized by the Catholic Women's Forum, they say, “Our hearts are broken, our faith tested, by the escalating crisis engulfing our beloved Church.”
It adds, “We are angry, betrayed and disillusioned. We, your flock, deserve your answers now.”
The letter, which was released on August 30, 2018, has received 44,404 signatures so far.
Pope Francis' reaction to the sex abuse scandal
The Holy Father has not responded to Vigano's allegations. Speaking with reporters, Francis said that he would “not say a single word” on the subject.
During Mass at the Vatican on September 3, 2018, he issued what could be regarded as his first public response to the accusations.
America Magazine reports that the Pontiff urges the congregation to adopt the silent mode in the face of scandal and division.
In his words, choose “silence and prayer” when one is confronted “with people lacking goodwill, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.”
Faced with scandal, the Pontiff says the response should be to say your piece then keep quiet because “the truth is mild, the truth is silent, the truth is not noisy.”
However, Huffington Post reports that the Vatican is currently working on a response to Vigano's allegations