Friday 17 August 2018

Gossip is like terrorism, Pope tells giggling nuns

Pope Francis waves from the popemobile to the crowd of faithfuls gathered at Plaza de Armas square in Lima, after delivering his Angelus prayer. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis waves from the popemobile to the crowd of faithfuls gathered at Plaza de Armas square in Lima, after delivering his Angelus prayer. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Philip Pullella in Lima

Pope Francis brought down the house when he addressed cloistered nuns who were given special permission to leave their convents to see him.

At the start of his last day in Peru, Francis addressed some 500 nuns, known as "contemplatives", who usually live a life of prayer and rarely leave their convents.

"Seeing you all here an unkind thought comes to my mind, that you took advantage (of me) to get out of the convent a bit to take a stroll," he said, drawing roars of laughter from the nuns, many of whom were elderly.

Later in his talk to the nuns, gathered in a Lima church, he sent a long-distance greeting to four cloistered nuns in his native Buenos Aires.

He thanked them for their prayers for him and added: "The rest of you aren't jealous, are you?"

"Nooooo," they shot back, like schoolgirls to a teacher.

He also urged them not to succumb to gossiping in their convents, comparing it to "terrorism" - something he regularly tells priests and nuns on his global travels.

"You know what a gossiping nun is?" he asked. "A terrorist."

The nuns laughed again.

"Because gossip is like a bomb. One throws it, it causes destruction and you walk away tranquilly. No terrorist nuns! No gossip, and know that the best remedy against gossip is to bite your tongue," he said.

Irish Independent

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