I read the article ‘Pope Francis warns against fake news, urges journalists to stay humble’ (May 18).

I completely agree with the Pope. There are even many reports of fake news against the Pontiff himself. Granted, he has misspoken at times but I truly believe that some of the remarks that make Catholics (like myself) open their eyes wide are due to mis-translations by journalists who want a tilted translation to make a salacious news story. They may even seek to blacken the Pope’s good name.

The Pope is the ‘Bishop of Rome’ and the ‘Vicar of Christ’. As far as I can tell, he has done a reasonably good job as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Granted, I concede no pope is perfect. Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II each made big blunders of their own. The clergy sex-abuse story has been around for centuries but the blockbuster scandal came to widespread light in the year 2002 under John Paul II’s watch.

My advice is for people to scrutinise the ‘sources’ of their news and not depend on one single source. By examining several news outlets – even if they are domestic and foreign news outlets ‒ a person may get a clearer (and truer) version of any story. That’s one reason this American reads the Times of Malta (among other news outlets).

Fake news is a dangerous thing. What compounds it? Social media has made ‘fake news’ stories look and sound like ‘genuine news’. It pays to cross-check and verify for truth and accuracy.


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