Pope Francis to join fight against fake news on World Communication Day

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Pope Francis will join the fight against fake news from the Vatican on World Communication Day 2018.

The Pope tweeted today that the theme for the day, which will fall on 13th May 2018, is “The truth shall set you free” drawn from John 8: 32, focusing on elimination fake news from journalism and promoting peace.

According to the Vatican, World Communication Day is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican ‎Council. It has been marked in most countries since 1967, on the recommendation of the bishops of ‎the ‎world, on the Sunday before Pentecost.

“The first World Communications Day was observed on May 7, 1967, under the pontificate of Blessed Pope Paul VI, who wanted to draw attention to the communications media and the enormous power they have for cultural transformation.  Next year’s observance will the 52nd edition,” the Vatican said.

The announcement of the ‎theme is traditionally made on 29th September, the feast of the Archangels Michael, ‎Raphael and Gabriel, with ‎Gabriel being designated the patron saint of telecommunications.

“False information contributes to creating and fueling strong polarisation of opinions. This often consists in distortion of facts, with possible “repercussions on individual ‎and collective behaviours,” the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication said.

“The Church would like to make a contribution by reflecting on the causes, logic and consequences of misinformation in the media and helping to promote ‎professional journalism, always seeking the truth, and thus a journalism of peace that promotes ‎understanding among people.‎”

[Image – CC Alfredo Borba]