Skip to content
Children learning @ Catholic Online School Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Nuns watching soap operas and the 'terrorism' of gossip: Pope Francis and Naples' religious

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

In a wide-ranging, off-the-cuff speech to priests and religious in Naples, Pope Francis addressed various challenges of consecrated life, emphasizing above all the importance of poverty and resisting gossip.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >


By Elise Harris (CNA/ETWN News)
Catholic Online (
3/23/2015 (7 years ago)

Published in Vocations

Keywords: Pope Francis, Catholic, Naples, Nun, gossip, soap opera, terrorism

ROME, ITALY, March 21 (CNA/EWTN News) - "For me there is a sign that there is no fraternity in the presbyterate or in religious communities. The sign is gossip.the terrorism of gossip," the Pope told priests, religious and seminarians of Naples during his March 21 daytrip.

"The person who gossips is a terrorist who drops a bomb, destroys, and they are outside - at (the) least they did a kamikaze.they destroy others."

Although living in community "is not easy," rather that gossiping about someone you don't like or get along with, tell the person "face to face" if there is a problem, go to the bishop or whichever authority can mediate in the situation, the Pope said.

Pope Francis' harsh condemnation against gossip came in comments made regarding the dangers to fraternal life among priests and religious communities, which he noted is a key aspect of consecrated life.

His meeting with Naples' priests, religious and seminarians took place in the city's cathedral following a meeting with persons from various social backgrounds, including immigrants and workers, and a Mass during which he condemned mafia activity in the area and urged the criminals to convert.

In addition to challenges regarding fraternal living, Francis also spoke to the priests and religious of the need to practice the works of mercy.

"We have forgotten the works of mercy," he said, and asked those present how many of them have forgotten to put both corporal and spiritual works of mercy into practice.

The works of mercy aren't just the deeds that "the old ladies in the neighborhoods do," the Pope continued, and gave the example of someone who knows of a sick person in their area and wants to help them, but it's time for the soap opera, and "between the soap opera and the work of mercy I choose the soap opera."

Francis said that this example reminded him of some sisters he knew in first diocese he was assigned to who were good and worked hard, but lived in a house that was old and needed repaired.

However, when the sisters redid their house they didn't just do it well, but "they did it too well, even luxurious, because they put a television in every room."

And when the time for the soap opera came, "you couldn't find a single sister in the convent!" he said, explaining that "these are the things which bring the spirit of worldliness."

Crowd at BBQ with Montana Ranch and Cattle meat As a big thank you for your service to our Church, Montana Ranch and Cattle offers you a special discount. Enjoy 25% off ‘The Greatest Meat on Earth’.

By the Grace of God, with the help of Montana Ranch and Cattle, Catholic Online School has become one of the fastest-growing, online K-Adult schools in the world. The school now has over 915,000 student enrollments from 193 countries. Click to Save 25% Now >

To live with a worldly spirit is not what Jesus wanted, Francis said, and recalled how in his   prayer to God the Father before his arrest, Jesus said "I don't ask you to take me out of the world, but to defend me from the spirit of the world."

When a consecrated person lives in the "spirit of prayer," they give a witness that people can see, the Pope said, explaining that even with a lack of vocations this witness is enough to make a person say "I want to be like that priest, or I want to be like this sister."

Pope Francis also spoke of the importance of consecrated persons to live the "spirit of poverty," even for those who haven't made a vow to do it.

When the Church isn't living this spirit and when the desire for profit creeps into the hearts of priests and religious, "it's ugly," he said, and called to mind the story of another religious woman he knew who a good person and was "thrifty" in her work, but was too attached to money.

Even though this sister was unaware of this and did her work well, "her heart was so attached to money and (she selected people) based off of the money they had."

This woman's "final humiliation" came when she was around 70 years-old and suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed in a living room full of professors while on a coffee break between classes at her school, the Pope said.

Francis recalled that while people were slapping her face trying to revive her, one professor came and said "but put a bill for 100 pesos in front of her and let's see if she responds then."

"The poor thing was already dead, but this was the last word that was spoken when they still didn't know whether she was dead or not. It's a terrible witness," he said.

"Consecrated men or women religious who are businessmen, no! The spirit of poverty is not the spirit of misery!" Francis said, explaining that those priests who haven't made a vow of poverty can still have their savings, but in an "honest and reasonable way."

Poverty is the first beatitude, he said, and asked each person present to do an examination of conscience, asking themselves "how is my life of poverty?"

Francis also touched on the importance of praying to and confiding in Mary as our mother, who brings Jesus to us, as well as the joy and that consecrated life should emit.

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

He concluded by underlining the importance of not only praying to the Lord, but adoring him, of loving Jesus' spouse, the Church and of having the apostolic zeal to go out of oneself and bear witness to the Gospel and revelation of Jesus.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2021 - Distributed by Catholic Online

FREE Learning Resources - Download Today - Printable PDF's

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!