Many Catholics seem to have forgotten something. We must not gossip about other people, nor must we listen to gossip. Both are sinful. Someone trying to ruin the reputation someone else would not get very far if they didn't have sympathetic ears to listen to their dirt. The listener has all the power in the world to stop the gossip, but he or she chooses not to do this. Walking away, or quickly changing the subject, would send a strong message. Smiling, nodding, rolling your eyes and other types of actions that show interest also mean you condone this behavior.
Obviously, there's a lot of gossip going on in God's house, or so many people wouldn't be trying to find out how to deal with church bullies. The only way a hate campaign can gather steam is if others join the instigator. Gossip and backbiting are what convinces them to align with the bully to gang up on a target.
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