MANILA, Philippines — The apostolic nuncio to the Philippines echoed the nation’s bishops in urging Catholics to beware of falsehoods being circulated ahead of the May 9 elections.
“We need to speak the truth and shun all forms of falsehood. This is our duty as Christians, as believers of Christ, who himself is the truth,” Archbishop Charles Brown, the pope’s ambassador in the Philippines, said in an Easter homily April 17. His remarks were reported by ucanews.com.
Philippine bishops issued a similar call in a pastoral letter on the anniversary of the People Power Revolution to combat fake news and lies looming in social media about former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, father of presidential front-runner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The younger Marcos has tried to paint the years of martial law under his father as a “golden age” in Philippine history.
“We are alarmed by this distortion of the truth of history and the attempt to delete or destroy our collective memory through the seeding of lies and false narratives,” the bishops said in late February. “This is dangerous, for it poisons our collective consciousness and destroys the moral foundations of our institutions.”
In his homily, Brown said every Catholic must be aware of every distortion and manipulation of the truth, ucanews.com reported.
“We need to beware of fake news, falsehoods, distortions and manipulation,” said Brown, whose comments came just days after a fake video of a family member of a female presidential candidate was circulated.
“There’s charity and prudence in not saying everything that is true … but everything that is said should be true,” he added.
The papal nuncio said every person who claims to love Christ should be the bearer of truth, for Christ himself is the truth.
“We need to love the truth. We need to speak the truth, just as we need to profess Christ in our lips,” he added.