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St Francis de Sales

24 January All day

St Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalists.

Fake news is not new as Dr Margaret van Heekeren noted at the launch of the Social Justice Statement 2019-20.

‘A week after Easter, 85 years ago in 1934, the then Pope, Pius XI, gave an historic audience to all foreign press correspondents in Rome – about 73 journalists, responsible for providing news from the Vatican to more than 5,000 newspapers around the world. Described as an ‘innovation’ by the London Times, the papal audience can also be regarded as a political
move. As historical research reveals, the Vatican had, by this time, long been the subject of fake news, much of it shared on wire services around the globe. Throughout the early 1900s fake stories included a proposal to edit the Bible, the false report of a petition by French priests calling for their vow of celibacy to be dispensed and even an invented interview with Pope Pius X.’

Margaret van Heekeren, Launch of the Social Justice Statement 2019-20.