An important communique from the Holy See press office yesterday, not least for us bloggers and others active in social media who regularly share and comment on what the Pope does or says.
FALSE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO POPE FRANCIS
Dear friends, we have been notified by many readers that there are stories currently circulating all over the Internet spreading statements by Pope Francis with regard to a number of issues, concerning the Bible’s content, the relations between religions, the renewal of the Church’s doctrine, and even the calling of an alleged “Third Vatican Council”, which are FALSE. These statements were spread by unknown sources. Therefore, we would like to alert all readers to be careful and not to trust too soon news about the Pope that are not from the Vatican. There are also many unidentified trolls on social networks that try to put false information in circulation, taking advantage of the fact that it is easy to “throw the stone and hide the hand”. Many are also not aware that ALL FACEBOOK PROFILES OF POPE FRANCIS/JORGE MARIA [sic] BERGOGLIO ARE NOT OFFICIAL PAGES AND THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED TO OFFICIALLY REPRESENT THE POPE, THEREFORE THEY SHOULD CLEARLY STATE THEY ARE JUST ‘FAN PAGES’. We encourage all readers to check the official Vatican media sources for further confirmation of Pope Francis’ statements, or even to check what exactly he said with reference to specific issues. IF THE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO THE POPE BY ANY MEDIA AGENCY DO NOT APPEAR IN THE OFFICIAL MEDIA SOURCES OF THE VATICAN, IT MEANS THAT THE INFORMATION THEY REPORT IS NOT TRUE. Below is a list of the official Vatican media which you should use as valid reference to be sure that any reported statement referred to the Pope is true:
– News.va: a news aggregator portal, it reports the news and information from all the Vatican media in one website, available in five languages: www.news.va News.va also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/news.va
– L’Osservatore Romano (newspaper): www.osservatoreromano.va
– Vatican Radio: www.radiovaticana.va
– VIS (Vatican Information Service): www.vis.va
– Holy See Press Office: www.vaticanstate.va/content/vaticanstate/en/altre-istituzioni/sala-stampa-santa-sede.html
– Centro Televisivo Vaticano (Vatican Television Center): www.ctv.va or www.vatican.va/news_services/television/
– Vatican.va: the official website of the Holy See, where you can find the full text of all speeches, homilies and Apostolic documents by the Pope: www.vatican.va
– PopeApp: the official app for smartphones dedicated to the Pope (Copyright News.va)
– @Pontifex: the official Twitter profile of the Pope.
The only official Facebook profiles representing the Holy Father and the Vatican are those from News.va and the Vatican media (see the above list of Vatican media). We would like to thank you all for your kind attention as well as for your notifications and suggestions. Please do share this information as much as possible with your contacts! Thank you very much!
First of all, it’s like I have said several times: if you want to know what the Pope said about something, read or listen to what he said. While there are many media outlets who do a good job in reporting on papal issues, there are also many who do not, either out of ignorance or malicious intent.
Secondly, this statement can be read as a duty for us Catholic bloggers and writers. It does not mean we can’t write about the Pope anymore, or discuss what he has said and what it means. It does mean that we must be as accurate as we can. Accuracy is a service to ourselves and our readers. We must first and foremost reflect the truth before giving our own interpretation or opinion.