Pope Francis Says Fake News Is ‘A Very Grave Sin’

Pope Francis has condemned fake and sensationalised news as a very grave sin and has called on journalists to report precise, complete and correct information.

Addressing members of the Italian Periodical Press Union on Saturday, the Pontiff said “We must not fall prey to the ‘sins of communication’: disinformation – that is, giving just one side of the argument – slander, which is sensationalistic, or defamation, looking for outdated and old things, and bringing them to light today”

The Guardian reports: Francis, who plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to “fake news”, 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 and correct information and not to provide one-sided 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 called those actions a “grave sin that hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others”.