Pope Francis tells the press: ‘The church is on your side,’ denounces fake news

“Freedom of the press and of expression is an important index of the health of a country,” Pope Francis told members of the Foreign Press Association in Italy, when he received them and their families in private audience in the Vatican on May 18. He reminded them that “one of the first things that dictators do is to remove the freedom of the press.”

He assured them, “I esteem your work; the church esteems your work even when you put the finger in the wound, and perhaps the wound that is in the ecclesial community.”  He quoted John Paul II in support of the press. “The church is on your side,” he said. “Whether you are Christian or not, you will always find in the church the just esteem for your work and the recognition of the freedom of the press.”

Ms. Patricia Thomas, the president of the Foreign Press Association, told him that its 400 members come from 54 countries and profess different faiths. She recalled how their work has changed radically with the advent of the internet and social media, and noted that today there is much greater risk of “disinformation” and the “spread of hate.”

MORE: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/05/18/pope-francis-tells-press-church-your-side-denounces-fake-news