“The Truth will set you Free” – Pope Francis’ message on Fake News
Pope Francis offered the following invitation during his World Communication Day message:
I would like, then, to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.
In this message Pope Francis expresses concern for disinformation that seems to be spreading as the use of social media increases. This disinformation includes false statements that are made about our Catholic social teachings and distortions about what the Pope has said. “Fake news” Pope Francis says, “often goes viral, spreading so fast that it is hard to stop, not because of the sense of sharing that inspires the social media, but because it appeals to the insatiable greed so easily aroused in human beings.”
In order to stay true to the information that comes from our Catholic Church this websites sticks to either the Vatican or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) websites or reputable Catholic news outlets that are approved by these institutions including Catholic News Service or Rome Reports.
The following prayer was added in the conclusion of the Pope’s message: