Pope Francis victim of 'fake news' story that God ordered him to change the Ten Commandments
Pope Francis is the latest victim of 'fake news' after it was reported God had ordered him to change the Ten Commandments.
The fact-checking website Snopes is reporting that a story headlined: Pope Francis: 'God Has Instructed Me to Revise the Ten Commandments' on the Real News Right Now website is untrue.
The story claimed that Pope Francis preached a sermon on July 6, 2015 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, during a Mass at the start of his South American tour. It claimed God had called on Francis 'to revise the most sacred of texts, the Ten Commandments'. According to the fake news story, the revised commandments were intended to reflect the changing times and include some minor rewording of the existing rules as well as the addition of two new Commandments.
The website is known for publishing fake news.
According to the Catholic Herald, Pope Francis never made the purported comments, has not changed or added to the Ten Commandments and what is more, has no authority to do so.
The Pope did celebrate Mass in Ecuador on July 6, 2015 and preached on the Virgin Mary and the joy of families. 'At no time during the trip, or at any other point in his four-year pontificate, has Francis changed the Ten Commandments,' reports the Herald.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said such stories are 'absurd'. He said: 'We're aware of many of these fake stories, but most don't merit any action on our part because they're so far-fetched.'
The fake news problem is deemed so serious that the Culture, Media and Sport committee in Parliament has launched an inquiry. Damian Collins, chair of the committee, said: 'The growing phenomenon of fake news is a threat to democracy and undermines confidence in the media in general.' The committee is currently calling for evidence.
One of the top top fake news stories on Facebook in the run-up to the US election, according to BuzzFeed, was: 'Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump For President, Releases Statement'.