“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

‘Fight fake news with Good News,’ bishop urges youth

Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez joins a group of young people in a selfie after celebrating the second day Mass for the 5th Regional Youth Day at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral Naval, Biliran, April 21, 2017. EDMEL RAAGAS/ESTE NEWS

MANILA, April 25, 2017— A Catholic bishop called on young people to fight disinformation online by helping spread the Good News.

With the steep rise in trolling, Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan said it’s about time for the youth to help combat the fake news cycle and “dominate the social media” with stories of ‘God’s mercy.

“You must counterattack fake news and trolls with the Good News of God’s love and mercy,” Varquez said in article posted at the website of Este, the news service of the Diocese of Borongan.

“You can even use Facebook to spread truth and be instruments of communion in a world that hungers for God,” he said.

The bishop made the statement in his homily during Mass for the 5th Regional Youth Day (RYD) at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Naval, Biliran on April 21.

Held every three years, the three-day Catholic event which ended on April 23, gathered more than a thousand youth from Central and Eastern Visayas.

Hosted this year by the Diocese of Naval, delegates came from the archdioceses of Cebu and Palo, and the dioceses of Calbayog, Catarman, Borongan, Maasin, Dumaguete, Talibon, and Tagbilaran.

Bishop Varquez strongly challenged the delegates to use the social media “wisely and responsibly”, adding that there are many ways that they can help evangelize others.

“One way is through reading the Sacred Scriptures,” he said. “Upload Bible verses instead!”

As the Church observes the Year of the Parish, talks and activities of this year’s RYD were focused on teaching the delegates about their important role in the parish.

As concerns on the environment remains among the prevailing issues in the region, there were also some discussions about Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and care for creation, Laudato Si. CBCPNews

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