Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is danger that divides communities. He added that the devil is "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division with his lies. Pope spoke about dangers of gossiping during his weekly blessing at Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about dangers of gossiping, especially on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet trolls, saying: "If something goes wrong, offer silence and prayer for brother or sister who make mistake, but never gossip."
The Pope was making his first public audience since pandemic started. His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel terrorism of gossip". He urged people to resist temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get urge to say something against brother or a sister, to drop gossip bomb, bite your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought subject up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like knife". A visitor to Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies."