Vatican City, Sep 28, 2013 / 09:48 am
Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Vatican police force today, exhorting them to fight in the war against evil by rejecting the temptation to gossip.
He warned that among those who live and work in the Vatican, “the devil seeks to create an internal war, a kind of civil spiritual war” by means of idle chatter, said Pope Francis on September 28.
The temptation to gossip is present for everyone, noted Pope Francis, “even for me.”
Gossip is a sin against unity which the devil uses to undermine the community of the Church, he explained.
The morning Mass was held outdoors in the Lourdes grotto of the Vatican gardens.
The Mass was for members of the Vatican police corps, known as the Gendarmes. The Gendarmerie was founded in 1816 by Pope Pius VII after the dissolution of Napoleon’s empire. While the Swiss Guards are primarily dedicated to protecting the Pope, the Gendarmes are responsible for the security and public order of Vatican City.
Pope Francis said the police force must not only defend the Vatican against thieves or attacking armies.
“Napoleon is not coming anymore,” he quipped.