“The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32): Fake news and journalism for peace, is the theme Pop Francis has chosen for the 52nd World Day of Social Communications 2018, the Vatican Secretariat for Communication said on September 29, 2017.
“The theme relates to so-called ‘fake news’, namely baseless information that contributes to generating and nurturing a strong polarization of opinions,” according to the statement from the Secretariat. ”It involves an often misleading distortion of facts, with possible repercussions at the level of individual and collective behavior.”
The Secretariat noted that the Church wishes to join other institutions in dealing with the “fake news” problem and promote professional journalism, always seeking the truth.
World Day of Social Communications, the only world day established by the Vatican Council II (“Inter Mirifica”, 1963), is celebrated in many countries, by recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday preceding Pentecost (in 2018, May 13).
The text of the Holy Father’s Message for the World Day of Social Communications is traditionally published on the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of journalists (January 24).