Pope Francis Calls for Truth in the Age of Fake News

World Communications Day 2018: Pope Francis's challenge to Fake News and call for a Journalism of Peace.
Today, on the feast of the patron of writers, St. Francis de Sales, Pope Francis released his message for World Communications Day. This year, the Holy Father set the theme to be, “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace.

Pope Francis went into detail about what is “fake” about fake news, how we can recognize it, and why we need Truth. “We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results,” he explained.

He invited all people to promote a journalism of peace with this message:

“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.”

Grotto Network is deeply committed to promoting world-changing dialogue and authentic conversations. We invite you to join us in considering how to promote a ‘journalism of peace’ in all media interactions — from what news we consume to how we engage with others on social media.

“None of us can feel exempted from the duty of countering these falsehoods,” Pope Francis added. We can choose to share the truth that “will set you free” over content that is hurtful or misleading. By prioritizing Truth and authentic engagement, we can bring peace to the world.

Pope Francis’s Prayer to promote truth:
Pope Francis's prayer on World Communications Day 2018: Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion. Help us to remove the venom from our judgments. Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters. You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world: where there is shouting, let us practice listening; where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony; where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity; where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity; where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety; where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions; where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust; where there is hostility, let us bring respect; where there is falsehood, let us bring truth. Amen.

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