The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore has warned its followers to "be vigilant against information taken out of context" after an edited video featuring Archbishop William Goh was circulated on social media.
The video — which was shared on Facebook by opposition politician Lim Tean — had taken part of a homily by the Archbishop from July 2020 and superimposed the title "Appropriate Sermon For PAP Cabinet" onto it.
Homily touched on servant-leadership
Goh's homily had touched on the topic of servant-leadership; he'd told followers about how "a true leader is not concerned about rewards but rather focused on serving and enriching others."
However, the superimposed title has "caused upset and concern to the Church and its followers," wrote the Archbishop’s Communications Office on May 31, 2021.
"The doctored label leads to a misrepresentation of the intent and thrust of the homily."
The Catholic Church asked for the video to be removed from social media and for its distribution to stop.
Lim Tean deletes video "out of respect"
In a separate post on Facebook, Peoples Voice chief Lim said he'd received the video from someone else and had published it on social media "as I received it".
"I posted it because I think it contains a very valuable message on leadership whatever sphere a leader may be involved in," he explained.
Lim has since removed the video from his Facebook profile "out of respect for the wish of the Catholic Church".
Church does not practise partisan politics
The notice by the Catholic Church acknowledged that "various parties in their enthusiasm and emotional frame of mind" may have taken Goh's homily out of its intended context.
"This creates misunderstanding and sows discord and division," wrote the Church.
"The Church does not practise partisan politics. We seek only to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, bring good to society, promote harmony, unity and mutual understanding among all peoples."
It encouraged Catholics in Singapore to be vigilant against fake news.
Top image from Lim Tean's Facebook page