Pope Francis: Journalism is “The Devil’s Tongue”, Gossip is “Terrorism”

Pope Francis tears into journalism fixed with lies and says gossip is “terrorism.”

Pope Francis has been very stiff about unproductive talk. The pontiff, who was until now, severe with the clergy for talking unnecessarily has now taken to reprimanding journalists. Addressing a group of journalists on Thursday, Pope Francis spoke out strongly against the spread of lies, fears and mistrust by journalists worldwide. Holding them responsible for much of the strife that world is suffering from. Pope Francis even went to the extent of calling such journalism as 'terrorism'.

The Pope has redefined a lot during his Papacy including core Christian doctrines. During this latest message, the Pope has given a new meaning to terrorism. Having already declared that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, he has now accused the faulty and gossip-based reporting done by journalists as the real 'terrorism'. Terrorism in its simplest sense means 'to terrorize' or 'cause fear'. As such, the pope believes that the spread of fear perpetrated by journalists is nothing short of terrorism.

The pope made his strong remarks while addressing the National Journalists' Guild of Italy on Thursday. The pope made his remarks very direct and stern, without any hesitation or pretense of trying to be nice. He even said that rumors kill people through words. As such, a journalist can kill with greater impact, especially since what they say is heard by people in all corners of the world.

Once again reiterating his stand on gossip and rumor-mongering, the pope said that 'a gossip is a terrorist'. By using gossip and rumors and spreading them through media, he scolded the gathering for letting journalism become the devil's “tongue.” The pope went to say that journalism should spread productive news, news that safeguards and protects the people rather than create strife, misunderstandings and arguments between people.

Pope Francis is the first Catholic leader to have been so active on media. As such, he believes that media has the potential to spread good, and bring people together. However, he expressed his disappointment at how journalists are, for vested interests, not showing the truth as it is. While he said he understood the pressures of 'meeting deadlines', he affirmed that spreading lies or half-truths cannot be justified. He urged journalists to 'go an extra mile' to discover the true reality behind things.

This is not the first time the pope has spoken against gossip. Just few months into his papacy, in 2014, he made an open statement saying, “gossip is rotten.”

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