Don't 'drop gossip bomb,' Pope Francis warns priests and nuns

Pope Francis compared those spreading gossip to terrorists, since they can send a community into chaos.

Story highlights

  • Pope Francis warns gossip-lover priests and nuns not to fuel the "terrorism of gossip"
  • He also urged clergy members breaking their vows of obedience, poverty and chastity to fall in line

(CNN)Pope Francis has warned gossip-loving priests and nuns not to fuel the "terrorism of gossip," encouraging them to resist the temptation to spread voices and tales within their community.

"If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your tongue! Hard!" he said on Monday in Vatican City.
In an impromptu speech to members of the clergy, which comes at the end of the Year of Consecrated Life, the pontiff compared those spreading gossip to terrorists, since they can send a community into chaos.
The Pope urged clergy members breaking their vows of obedience, poverty and chastity to fall into line. The dialogue is welcome, he said, but after the dialogue comes obedience, adding that "anarchy is the daughter of the devil, not of God."
Francis also lamented the decline in the number of vocations and people opting for a religious life.
"Why is the womb of consecrated live becoming so sterile?" he asked, cautioning against shortcuts or easy solutions.
"Some congregations experiment with 'artificial insemination.' What do they do? They welcome... 'Yes come, come, come'. And then there are problems," he said. "No. We must be serious about who we take. We must clearly distinguish if it is a real vocation, and help it to grow."
The Roman Catholic Church is still facing the consequences of sex abuse scandals, which shocked many believers, in particular in Western Europe and North America and among millennials.
The Church has 400,000 priests around the world, according to the Vatican. Agence France-Press says there are 693,000 nuns.