Pope Francis: Spreading fake news is like being sexually aroused by excrement

Pope Francis (Reuters)
Pope Francis (Reuters)

Pope Francis has made the headlines with poop again - with a dire warning that using "fake news" and disinformation is similar to coprophilia - being aroused by excrement.

He also warned that people who consumed a media diet of scandal and smears were like coprophagics - or people who eat faeces.

"I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into - no offence intended - the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true," he told the Belgian Catholic weekly Tertio.

"And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done."

The Pope also warned of the dangers of a politicised media, which could be used to attack political opponents.

"The means of communication have their own temptations, they can be tempted by slander, and therefore used to slander people, to smear them, this above all in the world of politics," he said.

"They can be used as means of defamation. No one has a right to do this. It is a sin and it is hurtful."

It's not the first time the Pope has commented on sexual interest in excrement.

"Journalists sometimes risk becoming ill from coprophilia and thus fomenting coprophagia, which is a sin that taints all men and women - that is, the tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects," he told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in 2013.

The Pope wasn't just concerned with fake news - he also had World War III on his mind.

"I think that 'No more war!' has not been taken seriously, because after the First there was the Second, and after the Second there is this third war we are experiencing now, piecemeal," he said.

"We are at war. The world is conducting a third world war: Ukraine, Middle East, Africa, Yemen. It is very grave."