In a brief interview, His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, commented on the message of Holy Father Pope Francis for the Church’s World Communications Day on the theme, “’The truth will set you free’. Fake news and journalism for peace.” The Catholic Church is marking its World Communications Day on Sunday, May 13.   Ahead of each World Communications Day, the Pope issues a message on a particular theme.  “The truth will set you free (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace” is the theme of the message of Pope Francis for this year’s observance.

As reported by Vatican news, According to His Eminence Cardinal Gracias who is president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI) as well as of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), it is “very crucial” for “journalism for peace” to fight fake news. He remarked that “God has given us the media, the facility to communicate the truth, and as the Holy Father says, evil forces have begun to use communications to give not the truth but give falsehood, which is fake news.” Further, His Eminence added, “This is very dangerous because the end result could be disharmony, anger, prejudice or hatred based on absolutely nothing, falsehood. Combatting fake news is a challenge for the Church and its media offices have got to take it seriously. Fake news is also a challenge for the government of India.  One needs to distinguish between fake news and truth, how not to allow fake news to influence ourselves and how to counter fake news in the media by giving the truth. This is a tremendous challenge which needs those specialized in the media also to advise the Church.”

His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias concluded his remarks by emphasizing that “The sowers of fake news are the enemies of truth, enemies of the country and are forces of evil, which need to be combatted in every way possible.”