In a visit to a Roman parish on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to stop gossiping and ruminating on the shortcomings of other people, and to instead focus on repenting of their own sins.
“The Lord wants to teach us not to go criticizing others, not to look at the defects of others: look first at yours, your faults,” the pope said in an unprepared homily March 3.
Imagining that someone might say to him, “But, Father, I do not have any [faults]!” he responded: “Ah, congratulations! I assure you that if you do not realize here that you have them, you will find them in Purgatory! Better to see them here.”
Gossip is not new, the pope said, noting that it goes back all the way to the start of original sin. But gossip is also not just gossip, it goes further. It “sows discord, sows enmity, sows evil,” he warned.