Gossiping is a vice which must be eradicated in our community. It is a plague worse than Covid. It is a vice which closes the heart of the community and disrupts the unity of the Church.
It is always the case in our different communities whereby people are quick to talk and judge other people. Most times, people when they see the mistake or a defect of another, will immediately go and tell others about it in order to gossip.
This is so bad and a cankerworm in our community which destroys the peace and serenity in the community. It brings about hatred an discord amongst brothers and sisters and must be eradicated.
Pope Francis said that Catholics need to live out Jesus’ “pedagogy of rehabilitation” — described in chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew — “if your brother sins against you…” rather than gossiping about your brother.
He pointed out the three steps of Jesus’ pedagogy of rehabilitation in correcting a brother who has done wrong. In the first place he says: ‘point out the fault when the two of you are alone’, that is, do not air his sin in public. It is about going to your brother with discretion, not to judge him but to help him realize what he has done.”
The second step has to do with seeking the support of another person because, at times this private disclosure of another’s fault may not be received well.
“Jesus says: ‘If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses,’” the pope said. “This is the attitude of recovery that Jesus wants from us,” rather than gossiping with a brother, he added.
The third step of Jesus’ pedagogy of rehabilitation is to tell the community, that is the Church, Francis said. “In some situations the whole community gets involved.”
“Jesus’ pedagogy is always a pedagogy of rehabilitation; He always tries to recover, to save,” the pope said.
Pope Francis explained that Jesus expanded upon existing Mosaic law in going on to explain that community intervention may be insufficient. “It takes a greater love to rehabilitate a brother,” he said.
This is also a recognition that after our human attempts may fail, we can still entrust our brother who is in error to God “in silence and prayer,” he added.
“Only by being alone before God can the brother face his own conscience and responsibility for his actions,” he said. “If things don’t go right, prayer and silence should be employed, but never gossip.”
“May the Virgin Mary help us to make fraternal correction a healthy practice, so that in our communities ever new fraternal relationships, founded on mutual forgiveness and above all on the invincible power of God’s mercy, may be instilled,” Pope Francis said.