Pope Francis warns against 'crime of gossip'

“There is no such thing as innocent gossip,” Pope Francis tells us in his homily at today's morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, according to Vatican Radio.

Francis is reflecting on today’s Gospel (Luke 6:39-42), the one in which Jesus uses the analogy of a “splinter in your brother’s eye” to warn his followers against the hypocrisy of judging others without first judging themselves. “Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye,” Jesus says.

In his morning homily, Francis admonishes us to avoid gossip, calling it a “criminal” act that is no different than the act of murder that Cain committed against his brother, Abel.

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“It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord,” the pope says. “And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Cain, the first murderer in history.”

Francis urges us to refrain from gossiping about another person, instead says we should “go and pray for him! Go and do penance for her! And then, if it is necessary, speak to that person who may be able to seek remedy for the problem.”

“We ask for grace so that we and the entire church may convert from the crime of gossip to love, to humility, to meekness, to docility, to the generosity of love towards our neighbor,” he says.

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