Pope Francis is charging the “media” with the sin of disinformation, saying that giving people “half” the facts leaves them unable to make accurate judgments.
A report on Monday from writer Thomas Williams said the pope was speaking to the managers and staffers at Catholic television station TV 2000 inside Vatican City.
He named the “sins of the media” and explained, “Of these three sins – disinformation, slander and defamation – slander seems to be the most insidious. But in communication, the most insidious is disinformation.”
He said “disinformation” is providing “half of the facts, and this leads to not being able to make an accurate judgment on reality.”
The pope has plenty of incentive for objecting to disinformation, as revealed in the recent book, “Disinformation,” which details how one of Pope Francis’ predecessors, Pius XII, was targeted by those very strategies during and after World War II.
The author of the book, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, is the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, having spent years at the highest levels of the communist espionage world as Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu’s top adviser and head of that nation’s foreign intelligence service.
After his defection to the U.S., Pacepa’s first book, “Red Horizons,” was credited with playing a major role in the overthrow of the communist tyrant Ceausescu, and was embraced by President Ronald Reagan who called it “my bible for dealing with dictators.”
Then he joined forces with law professor and historian Ronald Rychlak for “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism.”
One of the major Soviet disinformation campaigns the book exposes is the elaborate and maniacal effort to “frame” Pope Pius XII as a collaborator with Hitler – when the truth was just the opposite.
Pacepa wrote, in a 2013 commentary for WND, “Winston Churchill called Pius ‘the greatest man of our time,’ and Albert Einstein wrote, ‘Only the Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I felt a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty.’ In fact, the chief rabbi of Rome and his wife, Israel and Emma Zolli, converted to Catholicism, with Zolli adopting the Christian name Eugenio, to honor the man who, according to him, had done so much to protect the Jews during the war: Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Pacelli.”
Pacepa explained there is “strong evidence” that Stalin tried to assassinate Pope Pius XII.
“And from the Russian tyrant’s point of view, why not? The outcome of World War II opened Stalin’s horizon to the great game of international politics and gave him the confidence that, with a little ingenuity, he and Russia could become No. 1 in the world. He saw Pope Pius XII as his only rival for world domination.”
Pacepa continued, “Stalin knew he could not control the pope and his enormous sphere of influence the way he could control the Orthodox Church – by having the Russian patriarch in his vest pocket. Since time immemorial it has been a Russian tradition simply to assassinate your rivals if you cannot win them over. For Stalin, the obvious way to neutralize the powerful and far-flung Catholic Church was to cut off its head.”
He wrote, “In the summer of 1942, Stalin’s intelligence station chief in Rome learned that Pius XII had been talking with President Roosevelt’s envoy to the Vatican about trying to arrange a separate peace between Britain, the United States and Germany – thereby cutting the Soviet Union out of any post-war plans for Europe. Pius had instructed his representative in Ankara to solicit support for the plan from the local German ambassador, Franz von Papen, who was rumored as Hitler’s replacement in the event of such a peace. Upon hearing this, Stalin reportedly became so furious that he ordered Pavel Sudoplatov, the chief of his Special Tasks (i.e., assassinations) component, to have Papen killed, as he was to be the central figure in the proposed new German government. Sudoplatov immediately dispatched his most experienced assassinations officer to Turkey, where he spent eight months organizing the operation. In the end, however, the Bulgarian recruited to actually pull the trigger became so nervous that he botched the job, killing only himself and slightly wounding Papen.”
Williams’ report, published by Breitbart, noted Pope Francis has another reason to dislike “disinformation.”
“Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center published a report on the media coverage of Francis’ first year as pope and revealed that he was one of the top newsmakers in the entire world, ahead of celebrities such as Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, and David Cameron. Unfortunately, much of the coverage has been sloppy, misleading, or erroneous,” Williams wrote. “One news source has devoted an 1,100-word column to documenting the monthly errors that have plagued media coverage of the pope during this past year, calling the piece ‘2014: The Year in Pope Francis Misunderstandings – How the Media Got it Wrong, Constantly.'”
“If disinformation is the media’s capital sin, maybe it’s time for sackcloth and ashes,” Williams commented.
See a description of the art of “Disinformation”: