The Holy Father, Pope Francis has warned against gossips among Catholic faithful pointing out that such act is detrimental to progress, love and harmony amongst the people of God in any Parish.

Pope Francis gave the warning in his homily at the celebration of the Mass during his first post- jubilee parish visit to St. Mary’s Parish, Setteville, Guidonia in Rome.  During the Mass, the Pope prayed for special grace for them “to never gossip; to never talk about one another”.

Using the Gospel reading of the Mass (John 1:29-34) to reflect on the concept of testimony; the Pope examined today’s reality and declared:  “So many Christians confess that Jesus is God,” and among these there are “Priests” and “Bishops”.  A question arises. However: “Do they all give witness to Jesus?  He continued: “To be Christians, is something very different from being fans of a team or adhering to a “philosophy.  It also goes beyond simple respect for the “Commandments,” of a “I must do this…”

The Holy Father noted that the first disciples, the Apostles, did not follow a course,” nor did they “go to university” to give witness of Jesus Christ.  Moreover, they were all “sinners,” not “only Judas” of whom, after all, we do not know what happened after his death,” in as much as, perhaps, God’s mercy could have saved him.

The Twelve Apostles, added the Pope, were full of defects, they were “envious,” experienced “jealousy between them,” argued about who should “occupy the first place.” They were even “traitors” and it is demonstrated by the fact that “when Jesus was seized, they all fled … They were afraid, they hid.  “Peter himself, who is the head, “tried to follow the Master up closer in his final trial “when a servant recognized him, he denied Jesus.  “Thus, St. Peter’s Successor stressed: “The first Pope betrayed Jesus.”

However, all those first disciples “let themselves be saved” and became “witnesses of salvation,” granted to them by Jesus.  They committed ‘so many sins,” including the Lord’s betrayal, but they were great in one aspect:   “they were’nt gossipers, they did not talk badly of one another,” as opposed to so many of today’s communities, where they end by “skinning one another.”

Calling on the faithful to emulate the life of the Apostles the Pope declared:  “A community where there are gossipers doesn’t give witness.  If you have something to say, say it to the face or, at most, “say it to the parish priest.”   He concluded:  Given that “the Apostles never gossiped about one another, a parish without gossip is a perfect parish, “made up “of witnesses,” of which one can say credibly.  “How they love one another!”

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