Pope Francis says gossiping is a 'worse plague' than coronavirus

‘The devil is the great gossip,’ pontiff tells faithful in weekly address

Peter Stubley
Monday 07 September 2020 19:24 BST
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Pope Francis speaks from the window of his office at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City
Pope Francis speaks from the window of his office at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City (EPA)
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Gossiping is “a worse plague” than coronavirus, Pope Francis has said.

During his weekly public address from a window above St Peter’s Square, the pope suggested that gossip could be used to divide the Roman Catholic church.

“The devil is the great gossip," he said on Sunday. “He is always saying bad things about others because he is the liar who tries to split the church.”

The pope added: “Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than Covid. Worse. Let's make a big effort: no gossiping.”

He made the comments after discussing a gospel passage about the need to correct others privately when they do something wrong. 

“If something goes wrong, offer silence and prayer for the brother or sister who make a mistake, but never gossip," he said.

The pontiff has railed against gossiping several times in the past and once described it as “terrorism”.

He has also spoken out about the coronavirus crisis, arguing that humanity “must come out better” after the pandemic and cautioning against allowing wealthy people to access a vaccine first.

“In some ways, the current pandemic has led us to rediscover simpler and sustainable lifestyles,” Francis said in a written message last month.

“Already we can see how the Earth can recover if we allow it to rest: the air becomes cleaner, the waters clearer, and animals have returned to many places from where they had previously disappeared.

“The pandemic has brought us to a crossroads."

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