Francis, who plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to “fake news”, told Catholic media on Saturday that journalists perform a mission that is among the most “fundamental” to democratic societies, the Guardian reports.

But he reminded them to provide precise, complete and correct information and not to provide one-sided reports.

Read alsoBritish MPs defend fees of up to GBP 1,000 an hour to appear on Kremlin propaganda channelThe pope said: “You shouldn’t fall into the ‘sins of communication:’ disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalized, or defamation, looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today.”

Read alsoRomania denies license renewal to Russian TV channel over propagandaHe called those actions a “grave sin that hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others”.