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Pope Francis compared journalists’ speculation that he quietly supported Russian President Vladimir Putin to sexual fetishism for excrement.
The pontiff decried the press reports and speculation about himself and the Vatican on April 7. The pope wrote a letter to Argentinian journalist Gustavo Sylvestre concerning reporters’ theories that not explicitly naming Putin was a refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The pope went on to accuse journalists of participating in common journalistic “sins” of “disinformation, slander, defamation and coprophilia.”
POPE FRANCIS : ‘A WORLDLY PRIEST’ IS JUST ‘A CLERICALIZED PAGAN’
“Coprophilia” is the scientific name for a sexual fascination with human feces.
“Sad! Such a noble vocation as that of communications being soiled,” Pope Francis wrote in his April 7 letter.
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has made the vulgar comparison. In 2016, he said something similar about journalists seeking to find scandal anywhere they can.
“I believe that the media should be very clear, very transparent, and not fall prey – without offense, please – to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal, to communicate ugly things, even though they may be true,” the pontiff told Belgian weekly Catholic newspaper Tertio.
Pope Francis has a long and often contentious relationship with global media. The pope has often criticized the press’ tendency to misquote him or take his words out of context.
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Pope Francis compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the biblical story of a murderous brother.
In a Wednesday message, the pontiff said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was like biblical siblings Cain and Abel. In the Genesis story, Cain kills his brother Abel out of jealousy after the latter’s sacrifice to God is deemed superior. The pope sent the message to an interreligious pilgrimage group organized by the Elijah Interfaith Institute, according to Vatican’s news office.
“All this troubles our consciences and obliges us not to keep silent, not to remain indifferent before the violence of Cain and the cry of Abel, but instead to speak out forcefully in order to demand, in the name of God, the end of these abominable actions,” the pope said in his message.