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Pope Francis preaches during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel in June. (CNS photo)

From Pope Francis’ homily this morning during Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel (via Vatican Radio):

Those who live judging their neighbor, speaking ill of their neighbor, are hypocrites, because they lack the strength and the courage to look to their own shortcomings. The Lord does not waste many words on this concept. Further on he says that he who has hatred in his heart for his brother is a murderer. In his first letter, John the Apostle also says it clearly: anyone who has hatred for his brother is a murderer, he walks in darkness—he who judges his brother walks in darkness. … 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. …

Gossip always has a criminal side to it. There is no such thing as innocent gossip … [Rather than gossiping about a person] 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. But don’t tell everyone! Paul had been a sinner, and he says of himself: “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a violent man. But I have been mercifully treated.” Perhaps none of us are blasphemers – perhaps… But if we ever gossip we are certainly persecutors and violent. 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.

 

 
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Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.
 
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