VATICAN CITY -- Speaking ill of other people and spreading gossip is worse than COVID-19 and Satan is the worst offender of all, Pope Francis said Sunday.
When people see someone making a mistake, "the first thing we usually do is go and tell someone else about it. Gossip like this closes off the community," the Pope said in comments on a passage in the Bible where Jesus talks about what must be done to welcome back into the community those who have committed errors.
"The great gossip is Satan who always says bad things about people," Francis said.
Satan "is a liar who seeks to divide the Church, to drive our brothers apart, so that they are no longer a community," he added.
"Let us make an effort not to be gossips. Speaking ill of people is a plague worse than COVID," the pope said in an address at Saint Peter's.