Helluva pope you got there, Catholics:
Pope Francis said Tuesday that “gossipers are terrorists” in a possible jab at Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano and protesters who accuse Francis of abuse cover-up.
The pontiff denounced gossip as equal to killing during his Wednesday address in St. Peter’s square amid rising fury from U.S. Catholics over what they see as the Vatican and U.S. bishop’s poor handling of the sexual abuse crisis rocking the church.
Catholic faithful have called on Francis to respond to accusations from Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., that the pontiff actively covered up sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Catholic protesters at the Silence Stops Now rally in Baltimore, Maryland, repeated such calls Tuesday, during their demonstrations against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for Francis and other Vatican officials to break their silence and offer clarification, reassurance, and accountability to the laity. Francis thus far has refused to respond to Vigano’s allegations, offering only “silence and prayer” and saying those clamoring about scandal are agents of Satan sowing division in the church.