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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis on Friday met with the International Catholic fact-checking group, which promotes abortion-tainted injections and is linked to Bill Gates and George Soros, thanking them for combating “fake news and the manipulation of the consciences of the weakest.”

The morning of January 28, Pope Francis met with members of the International Catholic Media Consortium on COVID-19 Vaccines, or “Catholic fact-checking,” in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, where he gave an address to the group. 

Pope Francis praised the group for its “aim to highlight fake news and partial or misleading information on COVID-19 vaccines,” and for attacking “disinformation circulating on the web today.”

“You have started to do so by networking different Catholic media and involving various experts,” said Francis. “Your initiative started as a consortium to stand together for the truth. And thank you, thank you for that.”

The Consortium has been revealed to receive funding from Big Tech giant Google, and is further linked to population control advocates George Soros and Bill Gates.

The Consortium also promotes the abortion-tainted COVID jabs, perhaps explaining why its scientific committee lists a number of Vatican officials, including the chancellor and various members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), which itself promotes abortion-tainted injections. In responding to questions about “the ethical character of the process of producing the vaccines,” the Consortium not only defends the use of the abortion-tainted COVID jabs, but also attacks natural immunity, and criticizes the concept of seeking a religious exemption to jab mandates.

LifeSiteNews has previously reported on the Consortium and its extensive financial links to Big Tech and prominent abortion proponents.

Pope praises Consortium for fighting ‘disinformation’ and ‘fake news’

Pope Francis used his Friday address to attack what he described as an “infodemic” of false information. “We cannot hide from the fact that in this time, in addition to the pandemic, the ‘infodemic’ is spreading, that is, the distortion of reality based on fear, which in the global society makes echoes and comments on falsified if not invented news.” 

He said the “multiplication and overlapping of information, comments and so-called ‘scientific’ opinions” are “confusing readers and listeners” and “unconsciously” promoting the “infodemic.”

“To be correctly informed, to be helped to understand on the basis of scientific data and not fake news, is a human right,” he told the assembled members of the group funded by Google, a company with a long history of censoring views which run contrary to the predominant narrative, particularly relating to COVID-19. 

“Correct information must be guaranteed above all to those who are less well endowed, to the weakest, to those who are most vulnerable.

Fight the ‘fake news’ but ‘respect people’ while promoting the abortion-tainted jabs

In an apparent attempt to swing the address to more Catholic values, Pope Francis told the Consortium to “always respect people” while fighting the “fake news” which they promote.

“Even though the aim of your consortium is to combat disinformation, to fight fake news and the manipulation of the consciences of the weakest, we must never forget the fundamental distinction between news and people. Fake news has to be fought, but we must always respect people, who often adhere to it without full knowledge and responsibility.”

The pontiff, who has regularly pushed the “moral obligation” of taking an abortion-tainted jab as being an “act of love,” said the Consortium should “approach, accompany and respond calmly and reasonably to questions and objections.”

“We try to work for correct and truthful information on COVID-19 and vaccines, but without digging ditches, without ghettoising,” added Francis, who appeared to criticize Cardinal Raymond Burke in September, after the unvaccinated cardinal was hospitalized for the virus. 

The Pope continued by seeming to equate truth with the absence of conflict, saying that “working in the service of truth therefore means seeking that which fosters communion and promotes the good of all, not that which isolates, divides and opposes. Not that which leads to conflict.”

However, such phrasing appeared to contradict the Gospel teaching that the truth entrusted to the Church is not necessarily that which is accepted by all, but only that which is taught by Christ and His Church.

COVID has led to ‘psychological trap’ of ‘conflict’

Further decrying the “conflict” existing over the issue of COVID injections, Pope Francis warned of a “psychological trap … when the crisis turns into conflict and conflict cannot be resolved: only with ‘war’, with distances, with oppositions, and this is always going backwards and not advancing dialogue, togetherness.” 

Despite the pontiff’s warning of manufacturing “conflict,” the Vatican recently mandated COVID jabs for Vatican employees and visitors, removing the option to test “negative” for the virus, and allowing only proof of recovery from the virus as an alternative to the injection. Meanwhile Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan has said that widespread acceptance of the abortion-tainted shots helps to “normalize the horror of genocide” that is abortion.

‘Is it time for the Vatican to listen?’

The Pope’s address was swiftly criticized by Catholics who have raised concerns over the Pope’s promotion of the COVID jabs. Vatican journalist Diane Montagna questioned why the Vatican allowed “dissenting voices” on doctrine to be heard, despite the issues having been already decided. “Is censorship & squelching debate a major ‘ghetto-creator’? Is it time for the #Vatican to listen?” she asked.

The U.K.’s Deacon Nick Donnelly — sponsor of the Bethlehem Declaration which “vehemently” opposes the “morally illicit” COVID shots and mandates — also slated the Pontiff for hypocrisy.