Pope Francis Just Compared This Major Sin Problem to Terrorism

Pope Francis gestures during a news conference on board the plane during his flight back from a trip to Chile and Peru.
Pope Francis gestures during a news conference on board the plane during his flight back from a trip to Chile and Peru. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis brought down the house, or more precisely the church, on Sunday 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 except for medical reasons.

"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?"

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

"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 tranquility. No terrorist nuns! No gossip, and know that the best remedy against gossip is to bite your tongue," he said.

Trying to make his appeal local, he joked that gossiping nuns were worse "than the terrorists of Ayacucho."

Ayacucho was the epicenter of the Maoist-inspired Shining Path uprising that fought the Peruvian state in a conflict that left 69,000 people dead or missing in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bands of remnant rebels still operate in the Andean area around Ayacucho and have moved into drug trafficking, occasionally attacking military and police convoys.

Some Peruvians did not find it funny, comparing a gossiping nun to members of a guerrilla group, especially on a pastoral trip aimed at unifying a politically divided Peru, and turned to social media to call the comments insensitive or disrespectful.

An editor of a local online newspaper said on Twitter he thought the cases of sex abuse by Catholic priests had more to do with "terrorism" than gossiping nuns.

Like Chile, which was the first country on the pope's tour, Peru has also been hit by sexual abuse scandals.

Earlier this month, the pope ordered the takeover of an elite Catholic society whose founder is scheduled to go on trial in Peru this year for sexual abuse of minors.

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.

The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders
AD topLeft