Pope Francis to highlight ‘fake news’ in January message
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Pope Francis plans to highlight the importance of truth and the fight against "fake news" in a message to be released Jan. 24, the Catholic News Service reports.

A spokesman for the Vatican told the news service that Francis will speak out against false information that leads to the "polarization" of public opinion in modern societies.


Francis' message "relates to so-called 'fake news' — namely baseless information that contributes to generating and nurturing a strong polarization of opinions," the announcement said. "It involves an often misleading distortion of facts, with possible repercussions at the level of individual and collective behavior."

The announcement goes on to note that Francis will praise journalists who try to "promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth, and therefore a journalism of peace that promotes understanding between people."

The pope's message will be released on Jan. 24, according to the news service, to coincide with the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists. World Communications Day 2018 will be celebrated on May 13.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Francis famously suggested that Trump wasn't a Christian when he released a statement condemning those who think about building "walls" rather than "bridges."

Trump and Francis met face-to-face in May at the Vatican, where the Pope told him through an interpreter, "It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace."

"We can use peace," Trump said in response.