Pope Francis hits out at modern ‘culture of insults’

Pope Francis has criticised a ‘culture of insults’ in the world and warned that ‘the more we use social media, the less social we are becoming’.

In his homily during Pentecost Mass in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis also said that the Catholic Church risks becoming an organisation with propaganda as its mission, instead of a drive to foster joy and harmony. 

He warned of the temptation to cling to ‘our little group and to the things and people we like’, saying it was only a ‘small step from a nest to a sect, even within the church’.

The pope added that there was a lack of harmony in the world and that it was leading to ‘stark divisions’.  

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he celebrates the Pentecost mass in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he celebrates the Pentecost mass in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he celebrates the Pentecost mass in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican

In his speech, he also claimed that it was ‘fashionable to hurl adjectives’, and recommended people respond ‘to malice with goodness, to shouting with silence, to gossip with prayer, to defeatism with encouragement.’

Pope Francis said: ‘In today’s world, lack of harmony has led to stark divisions.

‘There are those who have too much and those who have nothing, those who want to live to 100 and those who cannot even be born.’

After Mass, the Vatican released a papal message about the church’s mission in the world.

Pope Francis is aided as he celebrates the Pentecost mass today in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Pope Francis is aided as he celebrates the Pentecost mass today in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Pope Francis is aided as he celebrates the Pentecost mass today in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican

The pope said that there was a lack of harmony in the world and that it was leading to 'stark divisions'

The pope said that there was a lack of harmony in the world and that it was leading to 'stark divisions'

The pope said that there was a lack of harmony in the world and that it was leading to ‘stark divisions’

Francis echoed a call a century ago by Pope Benedict XV, after the devastation of the First World War, for ‘an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism’.

He also cited a reminder by the same pope that ‘the church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group’.

Francis said: ‘No one ought to remain closed in self-absorption.’

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