Pope Francis says gossip is 'a plague worse than Covid'

Pope Francis says gossip is 'a plague worse than Covid' ...
theguardian.com 09/09/2020 People


Straying from prepared weekly blessing, pontiff urges faithful not to air grievances in public
Pope Francis said on Sunday that gossip is a “plague worse than Covid” that is seeking to divide the Roman Catholic church.
Francis strayed from his prepared text in his weekly blessing to reiterate his frequent complaint about gossiping within church communities and the Vatican bureaucracy.
Without giving specifics, he went on at some length to say the devil is the “biggest gossiper” who is seeking to divide the church with his lies.
“Please brothers and sisters, let’s try to not gossip,” he said. “Gossip is a plague worse than Covid. Worse. Let’s make a big effort: no gossiping!”
Francis’s comments came as he elaborated on a gospel passage about the need to correct others privately when they do something wrong. The Catholic hierarchy has long relied on this “fraternal correction” among priests and bishops to correct them when they err without airing problems in public.
Survivors of sexual abuse have said this form of private reprimand has allowed abuse to fester in the church and let both predator priests and superiors who covered up for them escape punishment.
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