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On February 1, 2021 Pope Francis met with members of the Catholic News Service of Rome since CRS was celebrating its 100th Anniversary. 

Pope Francis said that unless there is a serious new wave of COVID-19 infections in Iraq, he has every intention of visiting the country in early March. Even if social distancing requirements mean most Iraqis will see the papal events only on television, he said, “they will see that the pope is there in their country. I am the pastor of people who are suffering.” He said that if he had to, he would consider taking a regular commercial flight to get there.

Asked about the role of U.S. Catholic journalists today, Pope Francis said, it is to promote unity and to “try to get people to talk to each other, reason together and seek the path of fraternity, a divided church is not the church.”

Pope Francis said that when he met with a newspaper association in Buenos Aires, Argentina, years ago, he told them to beware of four sins and that those sins are still a threat to the news media today: 

“Disinformation” or giving only part of the story, because the nuances of the whole story are essential for discovering the truth. 

“Calumny, which is a grave sin, ruining the reputation of another” with a lie.

 “Defamation,” which is similar, but often involves publishing something from someone’s past, “even though they have changed their lives” and 

“Coprophilia,” which he described as “a love of dirt,” because “scandal sells.” “Don’t fall into these sins,” he said.

Because of his severe sciatica flareups, the 84-year old Pope said his doctor told him to cancel or postpone events where he would be standing for long periods. The Pope added with a smile what his doctor said: “But be sure to do the Angelus on schedule or people will say you are dead!” The Pope is more a victim of Fake News than anyone on earth!

As you watched or read the news the past few days, where did YOU find the sins of Disinformation, Calumny, Defamation and Coprophilia? What can YOU do about it?

GOD WILL SPEAK TO ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN!

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