Pope Francis’ love affair with liberal journalists may be coming to a close with the pontiff sharply rebuking their claims that the Vatican is quietly in support of Vladimir Putin.
A number of journalists have attempted to claim that Pope Francis’ refusal to directly name Vladimir Putin is evidence that the Holy See is implicitly supportive of the Russian regime. In a letter to Argentinian journalist Gustavo Sylvestre, Francis described the ‘ideologized journalism’ plaguing newspapers around the world.
“Always in that information are some of the sins that journalists tend to fall into: disinformation, slander, defamation, coprophilia. And I’m told some article authors get paid for this. Sad! A vocation as noble as that of communicating is soiled in this way,” wrote Francis.
Coprophilia is the sexual obsession with feces and defecation.
Francis has previously described journalists as suffering from the sin of coprophilia, writing in 2016 that, “the media should be very clear, very transparent, and not fall prey…to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal, to communicate ugly things, even though they may be true.”
The shift in rhetoric from the Vatican follows closely behind recent moves to honor journalists who have been covering the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine where Francis stated that journalists on both sides of the conflict were working for “the common good” and those who fall on the battlefields “were courageous.”
“I would like to express my condolences for your fallen colleagues, whatever side they were from,” he said. “Your job is a job for the common good. They have fallen in service of the common good of information. Let’s not forget that they were courageous. I pray for them, I pray that the Lord rewards their work.”
While he has not directly blamed the war on Putin, the pope has made clear his position that the bloodshed is a needless war between brothers, likening it to Cain slaying Abel.