Pope touts virtue of silence after sex abuse cover-up claims

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis recommends silence and prayer to react to those seeking scandal and division. Francis offered the advice Monday in his homily at Mass in the Vatican hotel where he lives. 

Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former papal envoy in Washington, stunned the faithful last month by claiming Francis allegedly lifted unconfirmed Vatican sanctions against disgraced U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick.

Francis has said he "won't say a word" about Vigano's allegations that Benedict XVI as pope had sanctioned McCarrick, including avoiding public life, but that Francis later allegedly lifted the sanctions.

Francis said Monday Jesus' grace helps people discern when to speak and "when we should stay silent."

In an unprecedented move, Francis in July yanked McCarrick's cardinal rank after U.S. investigations found sex abuse claims credible.

Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal escalates amid accusations of cover-up

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