Pope Francis held his weekly general audience today in Rome, and reflected on the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” He warned against gossip, saying, “the tongue kills like a knife.”
“Pope Francis put it very succinctly when he said that it comes down simply to what our parents always told us, do not lie. But he pointed out that because we are creatures who are constantly in social interaction, we’re always communicating and there is a fine line between truth and lies, we have to consciously be asking ourselves: in what direction will we choose to go with our words and with our deeds?” reported Ashley Noronha, Relevant Radio® Vatican Correspondent, live from Rome on Morning Air®.
“And he pointed out that even in our lives, as sincere as we may be about a belief, if we are mistaken in that belief, it cannot become truth. He looked to the Catechism of the Catholic Church that explains the Eighth Commandment and says in paragraph 64, ‘It forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relations with others.’ So, the pope pointed out that means not only being truthful in our words but in the entire way that we act towards others,” explained Noronha.
We must be careful with our words, because there are many ways that what we say can hurt others. We could “deceive others by hiding what’s really going on,” or we can say too much, being “indiscrete” by gossiping or betraying the privacy of others.
The remedy to all of this, says Pope Francis, is looking to Christ. He reflected on the trial of Christ before Pontius Pilate, when Jesus said, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” The pope urged all of us to bear true witness to the love and mercy of Christ.