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Pope Francis compares gossip to “terrorism” in Homily at Casa Santa Marta

2015-09-04

Pope Francis said during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta that all Christians must follow Jesus' example and become men and women of peace. He added that the Church suffers from the disease of division and discord and that its members must come together. He warned against Gossip.

POPE FRANCIS
"I think: what are rumors? Well, nothing, to say a word against another person, or to tell a story: 'This has happened...' No! Gossip is terrorism. Chatting this way is like a terrorist who throws a bomb and leaves, destroying. But destroying with language and not making peace. But it's savvy, huh? It is not like a suicide bomber. No, no. He is well guarded.”

The advice was very personal for Pope Francis. He said that whenever he has the urge to say something that encourages division, he stops and bites his tongue. He said that having a swollen tongue is worth it if it prevents one from causing divisions.

EXCERPTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"We’d do well to ask ourselves: Do I sow peace?  For example, when I speak, do I sow peace or do I sow discord?  How many times have we heard this said about a person: He or she has a serpent’s tongue! This is because that person is always doing what the serpent did with Adam and Eve, namely destroying peace. And this is an evil, this is a sickness within our Church: sowing divisions, sowing hatred, not sowing peace. So this is a question that we should ask ourselves every day:  ‘Did I sow peace or did I sow discord today?” ‘But sometimes, we have to say things because he or she….’: But with an attitude like this, what are you sowing?”

"If a person during his or her life does nothing else but reconcile and bring peace that person can be canonized: that person is a saint. But we need to grow that way, we need to have a conversion: never a word that divides, never, never a word that brings war, small wars, never gossip.  I’m thinking: what is gossip?  Oh it’s nothing- just saying words against another person or telling tales: ‘This person did…’  No!  Gossiping is like terrorism because the person who gossips is like a terrorist who throws a bomb and runs away, destroying: with their tongue they are destroying and not making peace. But this person is cunning, right? He is not a suicide bomber, no, no, he takes good care of himself.”

"Every day that I get the urge to say something that sows discord and division, to say bad things about another person… Bite your tongue!  I can assure you. If you do this and bite your tongue instead of sowing discord, the first few times the wound will cause your tongue to swell because the devil helps us do this because that’s his work, his job: to divide.”


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