Pope Francis, in his general audience of 27th August, has once again warned the faithful about gossiping, especially where it occurs in our parishes.
The pope has continually warned people not to gossip; stating that it is a sin and that we simply must not do it.
During the audience the pope said: "Everyone can fall into the traps of gossip. Just think about all the gossiping that goes on in parishes. Is this good? Is it? If someone is elected president of an association, he's criticised. If someone is elected head of catechesis, they are also targeted. This is not the Church. This shouldn't happen."
While the pope uses the example of specific parish groups, the message is no doubt directed at all types of gossip. All gossip is simply unacceptable and must not happen.
The pope has previously commented on how damaging gossip can be in our lives. If we stop and think about it for a few moments we can be left in no doubt about the dangers of gossip and the damage it causes. It causes cynicism, division, even hatred. It festers in the mind and even one simple 'throwaway' comment can cause an unnecessary rift in relations.
The pope also said that division is a "grave sin" that is the "work of the devil, who is by definition the one who separates."
As we consider the words of our Holy Father it is abundantly clear that both gossip and division should not be tolerated if we are to live like Christ and be one with the Church.