Virgin Mary icon enlisted to hush up Vatican gossip

Virgin Mary message

Pope Francis is using an image of the Virgin Mary to try to stop Vatican officials from gossiping among themselves about each other, reports the Religion News Service.

In the good old days, before Pope Francis was elected, if you wanted to silence someone in the Catholic Church you traditionally got the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate them and issue an order to stay quiet, or else.

However, Paolo Rodari, the Vatican reporter for the Italian daily La Repubblica, noted in a Facebook post last week that for several months this icon of the Virgin Mary, with her finger to her lips, has been hanging in the Apostolic Palace between the two elevators that are used for going up and down to what is in effect the West Wing of the Vatican.

The image was placed there at the behest of Pope Francis, Rodari reports. It was given to the Pontiff last spring by Mariella Enoc, head of the famous Bambin Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome, and was created in a monastery in Novara in northern Italy.

The motive for the placement, Rodari guesses, is “to maintain an atmosphere of silence.”

Pope Francis has regularly blasted his own Roman Curia for indulging in the “terrorism of gossip” – a phrase he re-purposed last week when he told members of religious orders to avoid the “terrorist bomb” of gossip and back-biting in their communities.

Photo: Our Lady of Silence (La Madonna del Silenzio) in the Vatican via the Facebook page of Paolo Rodari

FULL STORY Pope Francis enlists Virgin Mary in Vatican ‘silencing’ campaign

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