On January 23, 2021, the Vigil of the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists, Pope Francis issued a new warning about misinformation being spread on social media. He wrote that “we have known for some time that news and even images can be easily manipulated, for any number of reasons, at times simply for sheer narcissism. “Being critical in this regard is not about demonizing the internet, but is rather an incentive to greater discernment and responsibility for contents both sent and received.” “All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over “fake news” by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share.” He said “sharing ‘fake news’ makes one an accomplice in evil.” Earlier in January the internet was buzzing with false reports of an overnight blackout at the Vatican and claims that Pope Francis was arrested then and taken into custody by Italian police on an 80 count indictment which included among other things: child trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony fraud. A Canadian website called the Conservative Beaver was the source of these lies. This website had also previously made the false claim that former U.S. President Barack Obama had been arrested on espionage charges. Conspiracy theorists ran with the fake news about Pope Francis and tried to make connections with the U.S. elections and to a massive power outage in Pakistan. Pope Francis has been the target of “fake news” in the past. In 2013 it was falsely reported that he said “all religions are true.” In 2015, a viral article announced that Pope Francis was revising the Ten Commandments. One author has accumulated 80 different “fake new” stories about Pope Francis and refuted each of them in his book. There are stories about his false relations with Latin American dictators, his false relation with Freemasonry, how he manipulated the Conclave, false accusations of “heresy”, that he has subjugated himself to the power of the Jews, or even that he has devil horns. In Francis’ latest message, he also stressed the internet’s positive qualities. “Digital technology gives us the possibility of timely first-hand information that is often quite useful.” “We can think of certain emergency situations where the internet was the first to report the news and communicate official notices. It is a powerful tool, which demands that all of us be responsible as users and consumers.” He said of the publishing industry and social networks “that any instrument proves useful and valuable only to the extent that it motivates us to go out and see things that otherwise we would not know about, to post on the internet news that would not be available elsewhere, to allow for encounters that otherwise would never happen.”