Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 21 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Agnes
home iconChurch
line break icon

Fake news: Pope Francis doesn't go out at night to feed the poor

HOMELESS,MAN,HOMELESSNESS

Shutterstock

Aleteia - published on 02/21/18

Vatican spokeswoman repudiates newly resurrected rumors

The vice director of the Vatican’s press office, Paloma García Ovejero, has confirmed that rumors about the pope going out at night disguised as a simple priest to feed the poor are false.

This “urban legend” has been circulating for some time, and recently got new traction through a Spanish-language Facebook profile attributed to “Papa Francesco.” The profile recently published a picture of the future pope, while archbishop of Buenos Aires, in front of St. Peter’s.

“Pope Francis, dressed as a simple priest, went out in disguise during the night to visit and comfort the homeless of Rome, assisting the charity teams of the Holy See in the distribution of food, clothing and funds,” according to the February 15 post, which has been shared some 84,000 times.

Papa Francisco fake news
"Fake news"

Pope Francis, in fact, dedicates his most recent message for World Communications Day to the theme of fake news. He reflects:

The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. The truth is not just bringing to light things that are concealed, “revealing reality”, as the ancient Greek term aletheia (from a-lethès, “not hidden”) might lead us to believe. Truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust, as implied by the root ‘aman, the source of our liturgical expression Amen. Truth is something you can lean on, so as not to fall. In this relational sense, the only truly reliable and trustworthy One – the One on whom we can count – is the living God. Hence, Jesus can say: “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us: “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32).

At least as far back as December 2013, in the same year as his election, there were rumors that the pope went out at night to minister to the poor. Around that time, the papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, was asked about these supposed events. He merely smiled and said, “Next question, please.”




Read more:
Video: A Glimpse of the Hot Showers for the Homeless in Saint Peter’s Square

Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
3
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
4
MARTIN LUTHER KING
Jorge Graña
Did you know Martin Luther King appreciated the Rosary?
5
couple
Anna Gębalska-Berekets
Couple praises Padre Pio's recipe for a happy marriage
6
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
7
ARTIST
Fr. Michael Rennier
What if you think you missed your calling in life?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.