“I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons”

All Along the Watchtower

Newly elected Pope Francis I -1761696

These words are reported by the site 1 Peter 5 as coming from the mouth of the Holy Father when asked to explain why he wanted some members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removed from their posts. The full reported quotation is:

“And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.”

We need to be careful here, not least in view of the epidemic of ‘fake news’ which assails us daily. What we call ‘fake news’ is often no more than the tendency we all have to live in echo chambers of our own devising. We read websites written by people with whose views we are already in sympathy, and those sites tend to focus on parts of the picture which confirm the views they…

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