Speed Reading — Gossip - Level 3 — 300 wpm 

Now do this put-the-text-back-together activity.

This is the text (if you need help).

Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that divides communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division with his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his weekly blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about the 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 the brother or sister who make a mistake, but never gossip."

The Pope was making his first public audience since the pandemic started. His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel the terrorism of gossip". He urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies."

Comprehension questions
  1. What did Pope Francis say gossip divides?
  2. Who did Pope Francis say was the biggest gossiper?
  3. What kind of effort did the Pope ask people to make?
  4. Where did the Pope say gossip was particularly dangerous?
  5. What did the Pope say people should offer if something goes wrong?
  6. What caused the Pope to stop making his public audiences?
  7. What did the Pope say we should not fuel?
  8. What did the Pope say we should bite if we have an urge to gossip?
  9. What did the Pope say the tongue can kill like?
  10. What did a woman say gossips were besides scandalmongers?

Back to the gossip lesson.

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