During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis talked about unity within the Church. He explained that having Catholic communities in different cultures and environments is a strength that needs to be nourished and protected. He also warned against the damage that comes with petty gossip.
"You can't imagine just how much parishes and communities are affected by gossip. It causes pain, gossip causes pain. A Christian who is on the verge of gossiping, should bite his tongue Am I right? A Christian must bite his tongue! This would do good, because when the tongue swells one cannot speak or gossip.”
With thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope made it a point to ask the crowd very direct questions. He specifically addressed their commitment to strengthen the unity of the Church at home and abroad.
"I will ask you all a question. Everyone answer in silence, in your hearts. How many of you pray for persecuted Christians? Do you? Respond to your heart. Do I pray for my brothers and sisters who cannot openly practice or defend their faith?"
The Pope also added that as a unified Church, people shouldn't limit themselves to small church groups. He explained that it's that very unity that allows Christians to feel at ease and at home, in any parish around the world.