Pope Francis announced it himself in a tweet to his nearly 40 million followers on Friday, saying the theme of his message will be ‘The truth will set you free. Fake news and journalism for peace’
Pope Francis leads a general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican (Reuters)
(Note: Today we are living in an era of ‘post truth’, ‘alt truth’, ‘fake news’ and deceptive news, all made popular since the arrival of President Trump and his close strategist Steve Bannan, now fired from the White House circle.
What we often have today is anything but that truth which liberates, about which it is said: “Truth is mighty and will prevail” or truth that makes you free: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”(Jn.8.32). So it will be good to await and see what new light on truth, news and journalism, Pope Francis is going to give.
All of us, including ccv, are sometimes trapped by fake news or misleading truth. Recall the Big news we published with the heading: “101 Christian Intellectuals” speak out!, John Deyal reporting from Delhi on Aug.6th 2017. Subsequently we asked for the emails of the 101 Intellectuals as well as details of the meet – who, what, where etc. Finally we found the organizer of the event was, A.C. Michael who alone could give those details.
So we wrote to him(firstname.lastname@example.org) on August 23, 2017, for the emails and answers to seven questions raised giving time till Sept.25, now long past. Unfortunately we have not received any reply to date from the Delhi sources. When such things happen, they are called fake new or news with out paternity (bluntly called, ‘bastard of a news’) to point out its viciousness. We are not calling any of those names, the item published: “101 Christian Intellectuals” but we have to admit that we made a blunder in publishing that news item without verifying all details, prior to publication.
For the moment what we can tell our readers is, just to forget it altogether at least for now as a bad dream. The lesson to learn from this episode is never to be too quick to believe even a known source just because it calls itself ‘Christian’ or Intellectuals’. On both counts we drew blank unless and until we hear something to the contrary from the news sources. May better sense dawn on news sources, reporters and publishers, we pray. James Kottoor, editor ccv.)
VATICAN CITY: If you ever wondered how to say “fake news” in Latin, it’s “nuntii fallaces” – and Pope Francis is writing a document on just that.
Francis announced it himself in a tweet to his nearly 40 million followers on Friday, saying the theme of his message for the Roman Catholic Church’s next World Day of Social Communications will be “The truth will set you free. Fake news and journalism for peace.”
In Latin, one of the nine languages the pope uses to tweet, that would be “Veritas liberavit vos. Nuntii fallaces et diurniariorum opus ad pacem.”
A Vatican statement said the issue was important enough for the pope to address because “fake news contributes to generating and nurturing a strong polarisation of opinions.”A distortion of facts, it said, can have “repercussions at the level of individual and collective behaviour.”
Francis said in an interview last year that media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement.
The Vatican statement said the leader of the 1.2 billion member Church wanted to offer “a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media, and helping to promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth”.
The Church’s next World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated on May 13. The pope’s message will be released on January 24, feast of St Francis de Sales, the patron of journalists. (Reporting By Philip Pullella)Print This Post To toggle between English & Malayalam Press CTRL+g