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Ireland: mgr. Eamon Martin, “fake news spread arrogance and hatred”. Fake news and abortion referendum


“Heart-felt appreciation” has been expressed this morning by the archbishop of Armagh, mgr. Eamon Martin, for Pope Francis’s message for the 52nd World Communications Day about “Fake news and peace journalism”. The Day’s theme is “extremely important in our time” but mostly in Ireland, “in the run-up to the referendum on the VIII Amendment of May 25th”, writes the bishop, who is also president of the Social Communication Council of the Irish Bishops Conference. Quoting passages from the Pope’s message, mgr. Martin points out that “fake news spread arrogance and hatred; they discredit people by making them look like enemies if not outright devils and stir conflict”. “The current debate on referendums”, the bishop explains, “including the decisions taken by Google and Facebook this week to close down digital advertisements on the referendum, have produced a right dose of accusations and counteraccusations about fake news”. “Pope Francis tells us”, mgr. Martin writes, “that we can recognise the truth of a statement from its fruits: whether they sparkle controversies and cause divisions or promote a mature, informed dialogue and discussions with friends, family, colleagues and beloved ones”. With reference to the patron saint of journalists and writers, St Francis de Sales, mgr. Martin guesses that, “if he were around now, his advice to all those who work in the media would be: teach and proclaim the truth with love”.


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