The 30,000+ Catholic women who have signed an open letter to Pope Francis which demands answers over the ongoing abuse cover-up scandal have urged the Vatican to respond to their request.
The letter, published at the Catholic Women’s Forum August 30, sternly presses Pope Francis to answer the accusations of Archbishop Maria Vigano. Vigano has claimed that the Pontiff himself has been involved in protecting an abusive ex-Cardinal, former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick.
“His testimony accuses you, Holy Father, and highly placed cardinals of turning a blind eye to former Cardinal McCarrick’s egregious behavior, and promoting this predator as a global spokesman and spiritual leader. Is this true?” the letter pointedly asks.
When the Pope was quizzed about the allegations leveled against him and other senior Vatican officials, he simply replied: “I will not say a single word on this.”
As you can imagine, this has caused frustration and anger among Catholics who are desperate for answers.
“To your hurting flock, Pope Francis, your words are inadequate,” the letter continues. “They sting, reminiscent of the clericalism you so recently condemned. We need leadership, truth, and transparency. We, your flock, deserve your answers now.”
So, has the Vatican responded to the open letter? Not yet, the director of Catholic Women’s Forum, Mary Hasson, told Faithwire Tuesday.
“Although we have sent the letter (without the list of signatures) when it was first posted, we will be sending the letter and the full list of signatures by late tomorrow. We do hope to hear a reply then,” Hasson explained.
“The Pope has a pastor’s heart. I don’t think he will ignore the pleas of 30,000+ women, who are merely asking for answers.”
Hasson noted to Faithwire that she is hopeful this landmark letter “will break through the walls set up by those who would prefer ‘business as usual’ to addressing the problem.”
“Truth is necessary for real healing to happen,” she added.
“We will continue to pray.”
“Please do not turn from us,” the letter implored, “You’ve committed yourself to changing clerical ways in the Church. That a cardinal would prey on seminarians is abhorrent. We need to know we can trust you to be honest with us about what happened. The victims who have suffered so greatly need to know they can trust you. Families, who will be the source of the Church’s renewal, need to know we can trust you, and thus trust the Church.”
“We are not second-class Catholics to be brushed off while bishops and cardinals handle matters privately. We have a right to know. We have a right to your answers.”
In his arguably rather tone-deaf Monday homily, Francis urged his followers to be wise on when to speak, and when to bite their tongue. He explained that Jesus’ grace helps the believer discern when to speak and “when we should stay silent,” according to CBS News.
“With people lacking goodwill, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer,” Francis declared, as reported by America Magazine.
The gospel narrative, Pope Francis said, helps us “to reflect how to act in daily life, when there are misunderstandings” and also “to understand how the father of lies, the accuser, the devil, acts to destroy the unity of a family, of a people.”
“The truth is meek. The truth is silent. The truth is not noisy,” the Pope added.
“Jesus stayed silent.”
One thing is for sure, the cry for truth is growing louder by the day, and it doesn’t look like it will be suppressed any time soon.
We will keep you posted with details of any future response from the Vatican.
You can read the full letter here.