Francis preached during his visit to a Roman parish: “We are specialists to see the bad in the other, but not in us.”
Pope Francis sharply criticized bad talk about others. Chatter sow discord, enmity, and evil, he said on Sunday evening, according to Kathpress at a parish visit in the Diocese of Rome. “If you talk bad about others, you start a war, it’s a step toward war, destruction, destroying another by words is just like dropping a nuclear bomb.”
Language could be as destructive as an atomic bomb, Francis emphasized in his sermon. He called for thinking about how to deal with others in the 40-day Lent, starting Wednesday.
The pope is also bishop of the diocese of Rome. He celebrated a mass with the congregation at the end of his half-day visit to the church of San Crispino da Viterbo in the Roman suburb of Labaro. The Bible passage of the day from the Gospel of Luke says, “How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me pull the splinter out of your eye, while you do not see the light in your own eye?” (Lk 6, 39-45).
“We are specialists in seeing the bad in the other, but not in ourselves,” Francis explained. Then he bowed to chattering about others, which could lead to “wars” in the household, in one’s own neighborhood, at work, in school or even in a parish.
The criticizing others were instigated by the devil, the Pope said, and also mentioned two antidotes: Praying – for the others and also for himself, so that one can succeed in keeping silent. If that does not help, Francis gave a practical tip: “Bite your tongue, then it swells so you can not speak.” The congregation acknowledged this statement of the Pope with applause and smirk.
Francis arrived on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm in Labaro. Before the fair, he met children and youth of the community as well as parents with their baptisms. He also took time for the poor, the sick, the disabled, the homeless and volunteers. The Pope also confessed to some parishioners.