Pope Francis denounces gossip as ‘form of terrorism’

‘The tongue kills like a knife,’ pontiff tells Catholic faithful at audience in the Vatican

Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

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Pope Francis has denounced gossip as a form of “terrorism” and has warned the faithful against telling lies.

Francis explored the Catholic commandment against “bearing false witness” during his Wednesday general audience.

“We all live by communicating, and we are continuously on the edge between truth and lies,” he said in a chilly St Peter’s Square.

He repeated his complaint about gossip, saying it “kills because the tongue kills like a knife”.

He warned: “Gossipers are terrorists because with their tongues they drop a bomb and then leave, and the bomb they drop destroys reputations everywhere.

“Don’t forget: to gossip is to kill.”

Francis frequently rails against gossip in the church and has urged the media in particular to guard against “fake news” and seek the truth. AP

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