'Put a stop to fake news’ – Cardinal Tagle
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle hit the proliferation of fake news in the country as he celebrated the Chrism Mass on Thursday, March 29.
According to Tagle, spreading false information online is contrary to God’s call for his people to uphold their mission of evangelization.
“Evangelization is about Good News, not fake news. Let us put a stop to fake news! We are not called and consecrated to bring fake news, only Good News, especially through the integrity of our lives,” he said.
Tagle urged the public to take time to reflect on what they communicate to others and how this information could affect them.
“Do we manipulate? Do we communicate? True communication happens in the context of covenant. Manipulation thrives in the context of disrespect. That’s why fake news proliferates – deliberately deceiving people. That’s not evangelization,” said Tagle.
False information and government propaganda have been spreading online since President Rodrigo Duterte rose to power. Government officials and propagandists alike use the internet to vilify those who oppose them. (READ: State-sponsored hate: The rise of the pro-Duterte bloggers)
Often, journalists are tagged as “fake news” whenever they criticize Duterte’s decisions and policies. (READ: ‘Black propaganda’ under Duterte admin reduced trust in media)
But Tagle said this is not the kind of communication God wants his people to engage in. He said good news will always be guided by the covenant with the Lord.
“Evangelization is communicating the truth about God’s love, especially to the poor… [It] happens in a covenant relationship not in a context where some see people as objects to be manipulated for one’s purposes,” said Tagle.
“Good news begs to be shared and good news begs for hearers. The good news – especially if it is the good news of God’s infinite love, salvation, forgiveness, liberation – who would not want to share and hear it?” he added.
Tagle delivered his homily during this year’s Chrism Mass, when bishops consecrate the chrism or the holy oil used in baptism, confirmation, and other Church rituals. It is one of the Catholic rituals during Holy Week. – Rappler.com