Speaking ill of people, spreading gossip worse than COVID-19: Pope Francis

Speaking ill of other people and spreading gossip is worse than COVID-19 and Satan is the worst offender of all, Pope Francis said Sunday.

Speaking ill

Speaking ill of other people and spreading gossip is worse than COVID-19 and satan is the worst offender of all, Pope Francis said Sunday.

When people see someone making a mistake, the first thing we usually do is go and tell someone else about it, he said.

“Gossip like this closes off the community,” the pope said in comments on a passage in the Bible where Jesus talks about what must be done to welcome back into the community those who have committed errors.

Read more: Pope Francis calls for fasting in Ramadan to end pandemic

“The great gossip is Satan who always says bad things about people,” Francis said.

Satan “is a liar who seeks to divide the Church, to drive our brothers apart, so that they are no longer a community,” he added.

“Let us make an effort not to be gossips. Speaking ill of people is a plague worse than COVID,” the pope said in an address at Saint Peter’s.

Pope saddened over Hagia Sophia decision

Pope Francis had last month joined an international chorus of condemnation of Turkey’s decision to convert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia landmark back into a mosque. “I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened,” Pope Francis said towards the end of his midday sermon in Saint Peter’s Square.

It was the Vatican’s first reaction to Turkey’s decision to transform the Byzantine-era monument back into a mosque, a decision that has already drawn criticism from around the world.

The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano on Saturday carried reaction from different countries to Friday’s decision to turn the monument from a museum back into a mosque, but without any comment.

A magnet for tourists worldwide, the Hagia Sophia was first constructed 1,500 years ago as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire and it was there they crowned their emperors.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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