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Christians should say no to the poison of gossip, teaches Pope

Pope Francis' message for the weekly Angelus on Sunday declared the importance of avoiding gossip and slander about others, or of spreading rumors about other people while purporting to live a Christian life. “It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy. But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” the Holy Father said to the crowds assembled in St. Peter's Square at noon time Sunday. “I tell you the truth, I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!” the Pope exclaimed.

Pope Francis warned that Christians should avoid what he called the "poison" of gossip.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no? “Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as a habit,” Francis asked. “Yes or no? No? Ok, so we are in agreement! No gossip!”

"Jesus reminds us that even words can kill!” the Pope taught. “When it is said that someone has the ‘tongue of a serpent,’ what does it mean? That his words kill. Therefore, not only must one not make an attempt on the life of others, but one must not even pour on him the poison of anger and hit him with slander, nor speak ill of him. And here we arrive at gossip. Gossip can also kill, because it kills the reputation of the person,” said the Pontiff.

“We are called to reconcile with our brothers prior to showing our devotion to the Lord in prayer,” said the Pope, reminding the crowd of the words of Jesus “if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother.”

“From all of this, one understands that Jesus does not give importance simply to disciplinary observance and exterior conduct. He goes to the root of the law, focusing above all on the intention and then on the human heart, from where our good or bad actions originate.”

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