It is still known that the Roman Catholic Church has not been conforming with science up to the present day. However, Pope Francis has spoken out regarding his strong opposition and disgust against the spreading of fake news pertaining to Covid-19 and vaccine disinformation. According to him, this kind of act is cruel, and it is indeed a clear form of violation of human rights.
Pope Francis made a statement on Friday, and it is here where he made a profound condemnation of any news source and origins which also included the news media of the Catholic Church. He said that anyone among these news sources that perpetuated and extended fake and fraudulent information about the current pandemic is actually violating human laws, specifically human rights.
The Pope conducted a meeting and conversation with a group under the Catholic media through the CatholicFactChecking.com website. This website is an online portal that aims to combat and eradicate any misleading information. During the conversation, Pope Francis called such kind of information ‘infodemic.’ The Pope coined this word as a way to describe fake pieces of information which were made and crafted by people who are driven by agitation and fear. Moreover, people who are creating made-up information and news try their best to convince the public that what they are saying and spreading, is true and scientific.
In his statement, the Pope emphasized that anyone deserves proper and genuine information so as to be aided in understanding various instances and situations that are scientifically based. Spreading erroneous or misleading information or fake news is downright a pure violation of human rights. He also added that the dissemination of true information is a must, specifically for those who are considered the weakest, most vulnerable, and less equipped. Fake news, according to the Pope must be greatly refuted and every person must get respect because these people believe such news without full responsibility and awareness.
The Pope was poignant and sorrowful towards those who perpetuate fake news and wrong information about the existing pandemic. He was even more mournful about people who spread wrong information about life-saving vaccines. It was made known that the Catholic right-wing websites, media outlets, and blogs are the ones responsible for disseminating fake news about Covid-19. As a result of the repeated perpetuation of falsehood and fake news, many of these entities were banned and blocked on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites and portals.
Pope Francis has many detractors and one of them is Carlo Ma. Vigano, an Italian archbishop, who made a demand that the Pope should step down and resign from his office some three years ago and still hiding up to these days. The archbishop denied the pandemic’s existence, calling it just one of the evil works of Satan. He even claimed that the Covid-19 virus is just a form of laboratory creation and a part of the world’s secret plot to void the identity and traces of Christians. He was always invited to catholic media programs to expose his pointless conspiracy theories.
In the month of January, the Pope has already appeared and appealed twice, speaking about the current pandemic. This is not surprising because Pope Francis’ first appearance entailed his strong support for vaccination drives to be held in all nations. He called this work morally upright and obligatory. Three weeks ago, Pope Francis made a clear and strong statement, addressing those who are responsible for the spread of fake news regarding Covid-19. He admonished people who support ideological terms and vaccine misinformation. The Pope called these people’s stances something wicked, ruthless, merciless, and baseless.