More fake news about the Pope?

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More fake news about the Pope?

This week the Pon­tif­i­cal Acad­emy of Sci­ences hosted a work­shop called “Bio­log­i­cal Extinc­tion: How to Save the Nat­ural World on Which We Depend.” If you read the dec­la­ra­tion on the work­shop, or look at the work­shop agenda, or read any of the arti­cles linked on the Vatican’s web­site, it doesn’t seem con­tro­ver­sial at all, and fits nicely with the role of the Church around the world.

And then…fake news!

The Pope has urged us to have fewer chil­dren! claims Life Site News.

I’m not buy­ing it, for a lot of reasons:

  1. There is NO direct quote from the Pope. Couldn’t find it in the arti­cle, couldn’t find it on Vat​i​can​.va.
  2. It doesn’t jive with what he’s said ear­lier: Large Fam­i­lies are a gift to soci­ety.
  3. It doesn’t fit with the nar­ra­tive of the work­shop, which was focused on eco­nomic inequal­ity, main­tain­ing bio­di­ver­sity and proper use of the Earth’s resources.

Noth­ing actu­ally writ­ten by the work­shop seemed out of line with the Catholic Church. If some­one would like to com­ment and prove oth­er­wise, please be my guest, I will gladly post again admit­ting I missed something.

The Pope needs to real­ize he has a fake news prob­lem, and it’s hurt­ing his Church. For ref­er­ence, see the con­trast between the media’s por­trayal of Pope Benedict’s com­ments on homo­sex­u­al­ity and Pope Fran­cis’ com­ments. Despite say­ing almost the same thing, Benedict’s were largely ignored, while Fran­cis’ com­ments were seen as chang­ing fun­da­men­tal Church doc­trine. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

The media is using fake news to rip apart the Catholic Church from the inside. By mis­quot­ing Pope Fran­cis, it makes traditional-​thinking Catholics think he’s extremely lib­eral, and it rein­forces their wrong belief that Vat­i­can II should be com­pletely rejected. For Catholics who grew up after the 1960s, the media’s por­trayal makes it look like it’s OK to accept ideas that are actu­ally hereti­cal (and ideas they have been push­ing for some time now). For those of us in the mid­dle, who like tra­di­tion but also try to under­stand the spirit of the Cat­e­chism, we get mar­gin­al­ized by both sides, and the media sim­ply tries to over­whelm us with vol­ume to silence our voices.

It’s nasty. As a mil­i­tary plan­ner, this is the sort of thing I would want to do to my adver­saries. The media are using fake news to tear down the Catholic Church in a way that could cause almost all per­sons to turn away from teach­ing and towards what makes us com­fort­able. We would do well to reject it and focus on under­stand­ing our Cat­e­chism and why we believe what we believe.


The post rep­re­sents the views of the author alone, and does not rep­re­sent the views of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other fed­eral agency.

Please check out my blog, and hit up Da Tip Jar!

This week the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop called “Biological Extinction: How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.”  If you read the declaration on the workshop, or look at the workshop agenda, or read any of the articles linked on the Vatican’s website, it doesn’t seem controversial at all, and fits nicely with the role of the Church around the world.

And then…fake news!

The Pope has urged us to have fewer children! claims Life Site News.

I’m not buying it, for a lot of reasons:

  1. There is NO direct quote from the Pope.  Couldn’t find it in the article, couldn’t find it on Vatican.va.
  2. It doesn’t jive with what he’s said earlier: Large Families are a gift to society.
  3. It doesn’t fit with the narrative of the workshop, which was focused on economic inequality, maintaining biodiversity and proper use of the Earth’s resources.

Nothing actually written by the workshop seemed out of line with the Catholic Church.  If someone would like to comment and prove otherwise, please be my guest, I will gladly post again admitting I missed something.

The Pope needs to realize he has a fake news problem, and it’s hurting his Church.  For reference, see the contrast between the media’s portrayal of Pope Benedict’s comments on homosexuality and Pope Francis’ comments.  Despite saying almost the same thing, Benedict’s were largely ignored, while Francis’ comments were seen as changing fundamental Church doctrine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The media is using fake news to rip apart the Catholic Church from the inside.  By misquoting Pope Francis, it makes traditional-thinking Catholics think he’s extremely liberal, and it reinforces their wrong belief that Vatican II should be completely rejected.  For Catholics who grew up after the 1960s, the media’s portrayal makes it look like it’s OK to accept ideas that are actually heretical (and ideas they have been pushing for some time now).  For those of us in the middle, who like tradition but also try to understand the spirit of the Catechism, we get marginalized by both sides, and the media simply tries to overwhelm us with volume to silence our voices.

It’s nasty.  As a military planner, this is the sort of thing I would want to do to my adversaries.  The media are using fake news to tear down the Catholic Church in a way that could cause almost all persons to turn away from teaching and towards what makes us comfortable.  We would do well to reject it and focus on understanding our Catechism and why we believe what we believe.


The post represents the views of the author alone, and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

Please check out my blog, and hit up Da Tip Jar!