Pope Francis gave an interview to a Belgian magazine in which he cautioned media to avoid several major temptations, including the desire to always focus on scandal – which he compared to “coprophilia,” a mental illness in which a person has an abnormal interest in feces.
“Media I think have to be very clean, very clean and very transparent. And not fall – without offending, please – into the sickness of coprophilia,” the Pope said in his new interview, published Dec. 7.
Coprophilia, or coprophagy, is technically defined as a condition in which a person has an abnormal interest and pleasure in feces or excrement.
However, for Pope Francis, his use of the word referred to an attitude in journalism that always tries to communicate scandal.
Since people looking to the media frequently have “a tendency toward coprophilia” – meaning they take pleasure in and seek out scandalous news – this attitude “can do a lot of damage.”
It isn’t the first time that the Pope has discussed sexual interest in excrement. In March 2013, he warned that journalists risked becoming ill from their coprophilia, and that they could be “fomenting coprophagia” in their readers.
Pope Francis made his comments to Belgian weekly magazine “Tertio” for the occasion of the close of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The editor of the publication, Geert de Kerpel, conducted the interview, which focused on a wide range of topics from the media and the Synod of Bishops, to religion in the public sphere and war.
by Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency