Vatican spokesman responds to "fake news" reporting that a new app is a way to reach the pontiff.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke clarified today on his Twitter account that Pope Francis is not using the communications tool WhatsApp.
The clarification came after a private Argentinean foundation developed a WhatsApp account, Papa Francisco, and reports in Spanish-language media said it was a papal account.
The app account automatically generates a selection of papal quotes in response to messages.
Burke’s Spanish-language tweet says: “It’s not true that the Holy Father uses the messaging system WhatsApp. He doesn’t send messages or blessings through that program.”
Ironically, the pope’s message for the 2018 World Communications Day will focus precisely on fake news. “‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace” is the theme of the annual Catholic Church observance.
Es falso que el Santo Padre utilice la mensajería WhatsApp. No manda mensajes ni bendiciones a través de este medio.— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) December 13, 2017
There is an official papal Twitter account, however, @Pontifex. Just this week, it marked its fifth anniversary, having been launched by Benedict XVI in 2012. There is also a papal Instagram account: @Franciscus.