That silence caught the attention of Pilate, because it spoke volumes. The thought occurred to me that, while Pilate marveled at this, for it is natural to defend oneself given the stakes, silence must have been logical for Jesus. There wasn't much point because the accusers don't really care about the truth anyway. Furthermore, Jesus wasn't concerned so much about saving his life, since his accusers wouldn't allow it in the first place. For him it was about his mission.
I keep going back to the idea of mission these days. I've been realizing with growing clarity that the world is sinking into a huge mess right now because, to a great extent, the Christian mission to the nations is being badly compromised. One, Christian unity as a sign to the nations was practically rejected in the Schism and the Protestant Reformation. That echoes on in today's heterodoxy within the Church, and that goes back to the rebellion after Vatican II. Some sign that ends up being, and the parties don't seem to even see that! They nod their heads and sagely state the obvious, but where is the effort? And those are the few who would be prevailed upon to see unity as a good thing! Two, the world has become so beholden to relativism that one has to construct a basis for truthful discourse from the ground up, even with otherwise intelligent people.
So does the Church stay silent when accused of so many things by truth-agnostic accusers? As against wrangling and trying to look good, maybe so. Perhaps we have no recourse but to focus on the mission after all. Perhaps St. Josemaria Escriva was right: ignore the dogs barking at you as you walk the Way. Just keep to the mission. Evangelize from the rooftops, ignore the catcalls from the disinterested. Works of mercy and the gospel. Chances are that querulous attempts to defend oneself according to the world's standards will be no more than entertainment for the mobs, and there is plenty of that already. What we need, as always, is light.