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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope warns about fake news

Pope Francis, who earlier this year was reported – falsely – to have endorsed Donald Trump for US president, has warned about the dangers of fake news.

In an interview published in the Belgian Catholic weekly Tertio, the Holy Father repeated a frequent warning of his that the media can fall prey to spreading slander, scandal, defamation and disinformation.

“Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth,” he said.

The pope was a victim of fake news spread on social media, including the false claim that he had endorsed Mr Trump.

Popes do not endorse political candidates, though he urged Catholic voters to “study the proposals well, pray and choose in conscience”.

Picture: Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, on Wednesday 7th December 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini).