Pope Francis warns hair stylists: Thou shall not gossip

Image: Pope Francis looks on during the weekly general audience on Feb. 6,
Pope Francis looks on during the weekly general audience on Feb. 6, 2019 at Paul-VI hall in the Vatican. Copyright Andreas Solaro
By Reuters with NBC News World News
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The pope told some 230 Italian Catholic hair cutters, stylists and beauticians on a group pilgrimage to Rome to avoid the temptation of gossip.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has often warned against gossiping among friends and neighbors, but now he says it should also be avoided in those modern temples of cheap talk: beauty parlors and hair salons.

The pope exhorted some 230 Italian Catholic hair cutters, stylists and beauticians - on a group pilgrimage to Rome - to "avoid falling into the temptation of gossip that is easily associated with your work".

Instead, they should pursue their profession "with Christian style, treating clients with gentleness and courtesy, offering them always a good word and encouragement," he said.

Francis noted their patron saint is Saint Martin de Porres: a 16th century barber-surgeon who joined the Dominican order in Peru and spent much of his life helping the poor and sick.

Italian barbers and beauty parlors are traditionally closed on Mondays, which is why the group chose their day off to visit the Vatican.

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