Fact Check-Video of Pope Francis features false English subtitles

A video of Pope Francis talking in Italian about his longing for unity among Christians has been edited to add false English subtitles, thus changing the meaning of his video message and fooling users on social media.

An Instagram post featuring the three minute video with wrong subtitles can be seen here , with the words, “Please Share!!!” added to the clip.

A social media user who took the video seriously wrote, “Would’ve liked to hear the rest of his babbling. He is admitting to a new one world religion. Sounds the same to me as the New World Order.” Another user questioning its authenticity wrote, “Ok when was this said? Shouldn’t this be viral? And it could also be a deep fake?”

The three minute clip comes from a video made by Francis in 2014 and visible on YouTube, published by an Italian news website Meridiana Notizie here . This version also contains English subtitles, though they are in a different position on the screen (lower down) in the video, suggesting the version of the video on social media was cropped and the false new subtitles were added on later.

Reuters compared the two video versions, which showed that the version shared by Meridiana Notizie featured an accurate translation of what Francis said in Italian in its English subtitles, while the version shared on social media has subtitles that have nothing to do with what the Pope said.

The version shared on social media has been edited in a way that alludes to conspiracy theories about a “New World Order”(more on this here , here ).

This version has inaccurate subtitles that include, “Sudden [destruction] because we are living in the end times and are living like Jesus Christ isn’t coming back” (see around 1:42), “I am ashamed to tell you this, but I have [a] secret agenda to deceive you” (see around 2:34) and “you will receive the Mark of the Beast” (see around 2:53). (The “mark of the beast” is a term used in Christian conspiracy theories signifying the biblical End Time, when the Antichrist will allegedly force people to get his mark and worship him; more on this here , here , here .)

In the video, Francis says no such things. Francis actually spoke of his longing for Christians to find unity. The clip was recorded by his friend, the late bishop Anthony Palmer, on his iPhone, reported here. Palmer included the Pope’s video message in a longer event at a Christian Ministers Conference in February 2014, visible on YouTube here and here (both these videos also feature the authentic subtitles translated into English).


False. This video of Pope Francis features English subtitles with a false translation of what he is saying in Italian.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .