Pope Francis: “Let’s Avoid Gossip, it’s worse than Covid-19”

  • 'Gossip closes a person's heart to the community and hurts the Church's unity since the devil is the great gossiper who seeks to sow discord. “Please, brothers and sisters, let us make an effort not to gossip,” “Chatter is a plague more awful than Covid!” added Pope Francis.
  • Pope Francis elaborated that, Jesus offers a three-step approach to correcting our brother or sister who has sinned.
  • The Pope pointed out that Jesus welcomed Gentiles and tax collectors, causing scandal to the "conformists" of His time.

Pope Francis while presiding over the Marian prayer of the Angelus today elaborated on the many negative effects that gossip brings by. The holy Father elaborated at length on the consequences of gossiping about a brother or sister, rather than honestly reaching out to them and correcting them on where they may have gone wrong.

The pope called on the faithful to make an effort and to avoid gossip.

“When we see a brother or sister make a mistake or with a defect,” said the Pope, “the first thing we do is go tell others about it. We gossip.” The pope went on, ”Gossip closes a person’s heart to the community and hurts the Church’s unity since the devil is the great gossiper who seeks to sow discord.

“Please, brothers and sisters, let us make an effort not to gossip,” “Chatter is a plague more awful than Covid!” added Pope Francis.

Pope Francis elaborated that, Jesus offers a three-step approach to correcting our brother or sister who has sinned. i.e; 

Step 1: discrete reprimand

First, we are invited to discretely reprimand that person, “not to judge him but to help him realize what he has done.”

Pope Francis admitted that it is not easy to take this first step. “There is the fear that the brother may react badly; at times you may lack sufficient confidence with him…. And other reasons.”

Step 2: Involve others

If the person doesn’t repent, Jesus calls upon us to seek out the help of other sisters and brothers.

Pope Francis said this second step differs from a precept in the Law of Moses, which required the presence of two or three witnesses in order to condemn someone.

“The two witnesses are called not to accuse and judge, but to help,” said the Pope.

Step 3: Involve the Church

Pope Francis: ‘Gossip Is a Plague Worse than COVID’

The third step to be taken if someone hasn’t realized their mistake, said the Pope, is to bring the matter to the Church community.

“There are things that can have an impact on other brothers and sisters: it takes a greater love to rehabilitate the brother.”

Last-ditch measure

However, noted the Pope, sometimes even this communitarian intervention fails. In this case, Jesus says the person should be treated “as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

Pope Francis noted that this expression could be seen as pejorative.

In reality, he said, this drastic measure “invites us to put the brother in God’s hands: only the Father will be able to show a greater love than that of all brothers and sisters put together.”

The Pope pointed out that Jesus welcomed Gentiles and tax collectors, causing scandal to the “conformists” of His time.

The Pope ended his sermon by asking God to help us to make fraternal correction a healthy habit, so that in our communities new fraternal relationships can always be established, based on reciprocal forgiveness and above all on the invincible power of God’s mercy.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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