Pope Francis says journalism can be a 'weapon of destruction'

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"You can kill a person with your tongue," Pope Francis said.

That's just one of the powerful things Pope Francis said to a group of journalists in Vatican City on Thursday.

During his speech to members of the Italian Council of the Order of Journalists, the pope compared stories based on rumors to terrorism.

Related: Pope Francis visits 9/11 memorial

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Pope Francis at 9/11 memorial
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis visits the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City and prays at 'Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning' by Spencer Finch on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Reposed behind this blue wall are the remains of many who perished at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Susan Watts - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: The Last Column (L), which was recovered from Ground Zero, is seen as Pope Francis attends a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is on a six-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Monika Graff-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis attends a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is on a six-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Monika Graff-Pool/Getty Images)
A Vatican flag is placed at the 9/11 memorial where Pope Francis attends a multi-faith prayer service in New York on September 25, 2015. Pope Francis, who has built a wide global following for his reform-minded views, is on a five-day official visit to the US. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis speaks to attendees inside of the 9/11 Memorial Museum September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is on a six-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Two roses left by Pope Francis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan are viewed at a reflecting pool during their visit to the 9/11 memorial pools on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis visited Ground Zero following his address at the United Nations. The interfaith prayer service will include Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus. The Pope will also meet with family members of victims who were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pope Francis, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, look upon a broken piece of steel from the World Trade Center as they tour the 9/11 memorial and museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara - Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis takes part in a multi-religious service for the victims of 9/11 at the memorial in New York on September 25, 2015. Pope Francis, who has built a wide global following for his reform-minded views, is on a five-day official visit to the US. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Port Authority Police Sgt. Robert Coccodrilli tries to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis through the windows of the 9/11 memorial and Museum in New York while the Pope was visiting on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara - Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: A woman looks on as Pope Francis prays the South Pool at the World Trade Center on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Ken George, of North Babylon, N.Y., pauses to think about his coworkers he lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks as Pope Francis visits the South Pool at the World Trade Center on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Sunlight peaking through buildings lights up the spot where Pope Francis, bottom left, paused to pray at the South Pool at the World Trade Center during a visit to the 9/11 Memorial on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Police prepare for the arrival of Pope Francis at 'Ground Zero' on September 25, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis speaks during a ceremony inside the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is on a six-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis prepares to speak during a ceremony inside the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is on a six-day trip to the United States, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)
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He said, in part: "Certainly criticism is legitimate, and, I would add, necessary, just as is the denunciation of evil. ... Journalism cannot become a 'weapon of destruction' of persons or even nations."

But it's not exactly a secret that Francis isn't a fan of gossip.

In 2014, he told a crowd that gossip is "rotten" and compared it to poison.

More from Newsy: Pope Francis: Killing In The Name Of God Is 'Satanic'

And he warned bishops earlier this month: "The habit of gossiping is a habit of 'terrorism.' The gossip is a 'terrorist' who throws a grenade — chatter — in order to destroy."

The criticism comes from a pope who's pretty media-savvy. His Twitter and Instagram accounts have millions of followers, and he's done sit-down interviews during his time at the helm of the church.

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