Story and picture by Bill Heaney
Be careful of the words you use today for tomorrow you may have to eat them.
Those were the words on a poster in the vestibule at the old Carmelite Convent in Kirktonhill, Dumbarton.
Now the message that gossip is poisonous has been underscored by Pope Francis, pictured left, who has denounced gossip as a form of “terrorism” and has warned the faithful against telling lies.
Francis explored the Catholic commandment against “bearing false witness” during his weekly general audience.
“We all live by communicating, and we are continuously on the edge between truth and lies,” he said in a chilly St Peter’s Square.
He repeated his complaint about gossip, saying it “kills because the tongue kills like a knife”.
He warned: “Gossipers are terrorists because with their tongues they drop a bomb and then leave, and the bomb they drop destroys reputations everywhere.
“Don’t forget: to gossip is to kill.”
Francis frequently rails against gossip in the Catholic Church and has urged the media in particular to guard against “fake news” and seek the truth.