Pope Francis Urges “Silence, Prayers” Amid Calls for Him to Respond to Growing Scandal

Controversy continues to grow within the Catholic Church over the devastating priest abuse scandal. In his morning mass Monday, Pope Francis told parishioners silence is the best response to those seeking scandal and divisiveness.

But the Pope's words are only reinforcing calls for him to respond to mounting allegations.

Dr. Kathryn Rombs is an instructor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, and founder of the Catholic mothers' ministry, Mighty is Her Call. A mother of six herself, she knows how to deal with infighting among her children.

"It can be time to silence one or silence another so they don't foster the problem but when there is a true problem in my home, it's never the time for silence," said Dr. Rombs.

She sees the Catholic Church as an extension of her family and that family is in crisis.

"To the issue of abuse in this church, it is not time for silence," Dr. Rombs said.

Addressing parishioners Monday morning, Pope Francis said, "With people who seek only scandal, with those who look only for division," the best response is "silence, prayer."

This comes just over a week after an Archbishop accused the Pope of being involved in covering up priest abuse.

Also last week, Dr. Rombs joined a group of Catholic women who signed a letter calling for the Pope to respond to the growing scandal.

"It's time for proper investigation,” Dr. Rombs said. “We only want the truth. We clearly do not want scandal, we clearly want an end to this scandal that silence has caused."

Dr. Rombs was encouraged that the Pope added in his comments Monday that he is seeking discernment on when is the right time for silence.

She hopes his own prayers will lead him to answer the people.

"The people who are feeding the poor," Dr. Rombs said. "Those who are housing the homeless, these are the people who are going to say, we demand rectification of this problem and I think it's gonna happen."

Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas is also leading an effort to urge Pope Francis to call a worldwide gathering of clergy to address the sex abuse scandal within the church. Bishop Burns started a petition signed by both North Texas bishops and 21 priests.

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