During his Sunday prayers, Pope Francis has once again condemned gossip, describing it as a “plague worse than COVID.
The Pope also stated that the devil is a gossiper who aims to divide the Catholic Church. “Gossip closes the heart of the community, closes the unity of the Church,” he said.
“The greatest talker is the devil, who always goes about saying the bad things of others, because he is the liar who tries to disunite the Church, to alienate his brothers and not to make community,” the Pope said. “Please, brothers and sisters, we make an effort not to gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID.”
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has made such strong remarks on gossip. Back in 2016, he warned priests and nuns not to fuel the “terrorism of gossip,” encouraging them to resist the temptation to spread voices and tales within their community.
“If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your tongue! Hard!” the Pope said.
According to a statement released at the time by Vatican News, the Holy See’s official press website, Pope Francis returned to the topic in November 2018, telling pilgrims in St Peter’s Square that gossip kills “because the tongue kills, like a knife.”
The pandemic drastically changed the way the Vatican operates, forcing the Pope to celebrate Palm Sunday mass in an empty church. After months of lockdown, worshipers returned to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City at the end of May.
Pope Francis held his first public audience since the coronavirus pandemic began on Wednesday and used the event to call for solidarity in battling Covid-19.