While speaking to believers Friday, Pope Francis likened gossiping to terrorism, saying the practice is dividing those within the Catholic Church. During a homily at his home in Vatican City, Francis compared a person who gossips to “a terrorist who throws a bomb,” USA Today reported.
The pope was critical of those who gossip and those who accept it as harmless. “Gossiping is like terrorism because the person who gossips is like a terrorist who throws a bomb and runs away, destroying,” he said, according to USA Today. “With their tongue they are destroying and not making peace.”
The “cunning” gossiper, Francis reportedly said, isn’t a suicide bomber because he takes good care of himself. He urged spreading peace with speech, instead of division.
The pope has taken aim at gossip before, most notably addressing the issue last year during his Christmas address to the Curia. He condemned “the terrorism of gossip” that is able to “kill the reputations of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood,” the Associated Press reported. Cardinals in attendance reportedly received the critique coolly, the comments drawing just minor applause.
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