Pope Francis resumed his visits to the parishes in Rome after a break during the Year of Mercy, in which he dedicated himself especially to the visiting pilgrims.
In St. Mary at Setteville, located on the outskirts of the city, Pope Francis recalled that the apostles were imperfect and had many sins. However, he mentioned that they did not commit one particular sin.
"The Apostles were not gossipers: they did not speak ill of others, did not speak badly about each other. In this they were good. They didn’t talk behind each others’ backs."
The pope said that gossip, slander or trash-talkers generate division and poisons whole communities. This, he said, is one of the most serious dangers in the Church.
"We are all sinners. But a community where there are gossipers is a community that is unable to bear witness. I will only say this: do you want a perfect parish? Do not gossip. Nothing. If you have something against one, say it to their face, or tell the parish priest; but do not speak among you. This is the sign that the Holy Spirit is in a parish."
During the visit, the pope spent time with the parish elders, the sick, the youth and parents who baptized their children last year. He also heard four people's confession and administered the anointing of sick to one of the parish priests, who is seriously ill.