Pope Francis says journalists commit ‘sins of communication’

Pope Francis says journalists commit ‘sins of communication’
Pope Francis told journalists that miscommunication, dredging up scandals and sensationalism are sins. {Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Francis weighed in on the issue of freedom of the press as he delivered a sermon to a group of journalists Saturday about “the sins of communication,” NPR News reported.

Who was there?

The Pope made his comments to members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, reports state. According to the Pope, journalism is a field “dominated by the anxiety of speed” and is driven by sensationalism. Reliable information, he said, is at a premium.

Pope Francis also spoke about the perils of disinformation and slander, NPR reported.

What did Pope Francis say?

“You shouldn’t fall into the ‘sins of communication:’ disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalized, or defamation, looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today,” he said.

Pope Francis added: “We must not fall prey to the ‘sins of communication’: disinformation that is, giving just one side of the argument, slander, which is sensationalistic, or defamation, looking for outdated and old things, and bringing them to light today. They are very grave sins, which damage the heart of the journalist and harm people.”

The world can expect to hear similar sermons from the pope in the future.

Pope Francis plans to make “fake news and journalism for peace,” the topic of his 2017 World Communications Day speech.

The pope has waded into media issues in the past, as well.

NPR reported last year that the pope told “journalists and media consumers” that an interest in dredging up scandals is similar to “the sickness of coprophilia,” which is an abnormal interest in feces “that can include elements of sexual arousal.”