Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

Oo, awkward

By Kat Hall

Posted in Bootnotes, 18th December 2017 13:17 GMT

Christmas is typically a busy time of year for the Holy Father, but thankfully Pope Francis has found time to decree that made-up stories are a "serious sin".

In fact, @Pontifex plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to this pressing world problem of "fake news", according to Associated Press. He told Catholic media on Saturday that journalists perform a mission that is among the most "fundamental" to democratic societies.

But he reminded them to provide precise, complete, correct and unbiased reports.

The Pope said: "You shouldn't fall into the 'sins of communication': disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalised, or defamation, looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today."

He said those actions are a "grave sin that hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others".

Francis has not shied away from addressing the problems brought by technology since his papacy began in 2013. He has previously told followers to put their smartphones away at dinner, warning that they risk damaging family life, and said happiness cannot be found in apps.

Anyway, thank God someone has taken the unprecedented step of speaking out against made-up stories that have no bearing in fact but are nonetheless taken as gospel... ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

104 Comments

More from The Register

Facebook smartmobe app's pre-ticked privacy settings violate German data protection law

Court favours consumer group in long-running dispute

How to stop Facebook and Apple taking over the mobile phone industry

Cloudflare Internet Summit Streaming operating systems, virtualizing base stations

Hey, big vendor: Oracle, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook blow even more cash on lobbying

Spend a little bribe, er, time with me...

Samsung gains ground on smartphones

Emerging markets are where it's at

Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Anything smaller than 5.5 inches just won't satisfy, especially in China

Facebook confesses: Facebook is bad for you

Grazing FB is ruining your life, admits social network after probing its army of addicts

Hey, we've toned down the 'destroying society' shtick, Facebook insists

The Social Network rises to criticism from former exec

Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook blow massive amounts lobbying Trump administration

You know what they say: Money makes the world go round

Team Trump goes in to bat for Google and Facebook

What swamp?

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

It's a mystery how they found out. Call Sherlock