You know that something’s made it big when it reaches the White House. Take, for example, the time that Press Secretary Josh Earnest found himself at a loss when asked about the epidemic of creepy clowns terrorizing American citizens.

The clown threat seems to have receded, and now Americans are being flooded with think pieces about “fake news,” the latest and greatest danger to our country, at least since the election results came in. The president himself went on at length about fake news during a recent press conference in Germany, warning of “active misinformation” being spread on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, for one, was not moved by the idea that fake news on Facebook had cost Hillary the election.

Nevertheless, the scourge of fake news remains in the headlines and has reached another level entirely: Reuters reports Wednesday that Pope Francis had addressed the problem of fake news, and he did so in a way that no one could have expected.

Wait … this is fake news, right? The pope really said that?

Apparently, he did, excusing himself for employing terms like coprophilia and coprophagia to get his point across.

Reuters reports that Pope Francis told the Belgian Catholic weekly “Tertio” that using media to smear politicians rather than educate the public is tantamount to sin. But he wasn’t done yet:

Using precise psychological terms, he said scandal-mongering media risked falling prey to coprophilia, or arousal from excrement, and consumers of these media risked coprophagia, or eating excrement.

“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 said.

Wow. While we take a minute to process that analogy, let’s consider another of his quotes which is much easier to understand. The problem with the media peddling in disinformation, Pope Francis said, is that “it directs opinion in only one direction and omits the other part of the truth,” he said.

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