In his latest weekly blessing at the Vatican, Pope Francis has warned Catholics about the dangers of gossip. Although his weekly blessing is not related to COVID-19, the current pandemic tormenting the world, he has raised important points that everyone must remind themselves of. Pope Francis has been in the highest seat of power in the Vatican since 2013. Through the years he had made some very interesting and relevant points on both societal and environmental issues. However, gossip is one of the issues he is very keen on.
Pope Francis on Gossip
This is not the first time Pope Francis commented about the dangers of gossip. He has repeatedly likened gossip to terrorism over the years. According to the Pope, any person creating gossip can be compared to a terrorist that intentionally destroys through bombs and firearms. Gossipers, on the other hand, destroy through their tongues. What is dangerous about gossip is that many people do not think that it is such a sinful act and how destructive it could be. A small, simple untruth could create such an unimaginable impact on another person’s life. The words of the Pope applies for all, even non-Catholics.
Concerning the current global pandemic, Pope Francis pointed out that gossip is a “plague worse than COVID-19”. He has used the coronavirus to create a mental picture of how gossip could destroy society. The Pope has also shared his thoughts on the pandemic and how it has crippled the entire world saying that the global economy has been putting riches and power over everything else.
A Progressive Catholic Pope
Unlike others that preceded him, Pope Francis is so much more progressive when it comes to current social issues. Videos of him allowing children to play in the background during his mass to the horrors of many Catholics in the audience went viral multiple times online. He is heard saying that instead of judging these people, let us pray for them. This progressiveness made him one of the most controversial but well-loved Catholic Popes. Here are a few of his most impressive, but controversial, stands:
LGBT, gender equality, and Gay Marriage
It is well-known that Pope Francis opened his church to everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual preference, or faith. He has been continuously outspoken on compassion towards the LGBT group. Repeatedly, he has pointed out that homosexuality is not a sin, and if that person seeks God, who are we all to judge. He also condemned parents who disown their homosexual children pointing out that homosexuality is not an illness.
In his teachings, Pope Francis has pointed out that homosexuality has existed throughout history. Although he did not outrightly support gay marriage in the Catholic church, he continuously points out the importance of societal acceptance and compassion. This is especially true for parents and children in unconventional situations and making sure to teach children about faith.
Single Motherhood and abortion
In 2016, the Pope has made headlines after declaring that priests may absolve women who have had abortion procedures. He announced that mercy and forgiveness exclude no one, as long as these people truly repent. It must be made clear that the Pope and the Vatican do not support abortion, but they do understand the pressures women had to go through to decide to abort their unborn children. He has also famously condemned the considerable gender pay gap, where women earn less than men in many countries. Raising awareness on this ongoing “scandal” is a very progressive move for the Pope.
One of the controversial issues that the Pope has said his piece on would be climate change. There is indeed a multitude of people who are non-believers of climate change. But even the head of the Catholic church supports Science in the fact that Climate change does exist. Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has been continuously sounding alarms on the increasing destruction of nature. His official Twitter has even released very blunt comments on how the earth has become an “immense pile of filth”.
The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 18, 2015
The head of the Catholic church has been called the ambassador of mental health through the years because of the support he gives for people with mental disorders. He has always been known to promote hope and rebuilding life despite anyone’s past. The Pope also encourages people to be more accepting and less judgemental of others, to provide people who are “different” a sense of dignity and pride. Instead of judging others who we believe are different, we must guide them towards sustaining hope and building resilience.