Using particularly vivid language, Pope Francis said “a lot of damage can be done” with the spread salacious, defamatory and simply fake news.
Veteran Vatican reporter Philip Pullella writes that the interview, with a Belgian Catholic newspaper, in Spanish, and translated into Italian, included “some of the most blunt language” Francis has ever used publicly.
Using precise psychological terms, he said scandal-mongering media risked falling prey to coprophilia, or arousal from excrement, and consumers of these media risked coprophagia, or eating excrement.
The Argentine-born pontiff excused himself for using such terms in order to get his point across while answering a question about the correct use of the media.
“I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,” he said.
Francis said disinformation is the greatest harm as it “directs opinion in only one direction and omits the other part of the truth.”