Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Pope Francis announced the theme for World Communications Day on Twitter on Friday as "the truth will set you free" -- an effort, in part, to stamp out phony news.
"I have chosen this theme for World Communications Day 2018: "The truth will set you free" (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace," the Pope tweeted.
The theme comes from the New Testament verse, John 8:32: "then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
The Vatican secretariat of communication issued a statement noting that fake news helps in "generating and nurturing a strong polarisation of opinions."
"It involves an often misleading distortion of facts, with possible repercussions at the level of individual and collective behavior," the statement said.
On the recommendation of most bishops, World Communications Day is marked in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost. The announcement of the theme is traditionally made on Sept. 29 with archangel Gabriel designated as the patron saint of telecommunications.
World Communications Day's 52nd observance will take place on May 13.