Pope warns against fake news that creates opinions and condemn innocent people

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During his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned against the avalanche of false news that creates opinions which condemn others. He said many times nothing can be done about them.

There is the small daily lynching that tries to condemn people, to create a bad reputation of people, to discard them, to condemn them. It's the small daily lynching of gossip, which creates opinions. So many times, one hears people speaking badly about others.

The pope invited the faithful to think of the martyrs of today. He said judges don't even get the chance to serve justice because these people have already been judged. He used Asia Bibi as an example. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison because she was judged for a lie spread by a community that wanted her dead.


(Source: Vatican News)

In his homily, the pope focused on the passage from the Acts of the Apostles. In it Stephen courageously speaks to the people, the elders and the scribes, who judge him with false testimony, drag him out of the city and stone him.

The Doctors of the Law, explained Pope Francis, did not tolerate the clarity of doctrine, and they asked someone to say that they had heard Stephen blaspheme against God and the Law. The pope pointed out that, just like Stephen “they did the same with Jesus too, trying to convince the people that He was a blasphemer.”  

The pope noted that it also happens with the martyrs of today, like Asia Bibi. She was in prison for many years, judged by slander. He added, in the face of the avalanche of false news that creates opinion sometimes nothing can be done.

“I think of the Shoah,” said the pope, when opinion was created against a people in order to cast them out. “Then there is the small daily lynching that tries to condemn people, to create a bad reputation, the small daily lynching of gossip that creates opinions in order to condemn people.”

The truth, on the other hand, emphasized Pope Francis, “is clear and transparent, it is the testimony of truth, of what is believed. Let's think about our tongues: many times with our comments we start such lynching. Even in our Christian institutions we have seen so many daily lynchings born out of gossip.”

“May the Lord help us,” said the pope, “to be righteous, in our judgments, not to begin to follow this mass condemnation that provokes gossip.”

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres

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