A video of Pope Francis has gone viral with English subtitles of his Italian speech that purport to show the Catholic leader confessing to “a secret agenda” of religious deception.
This is false. The video is real but the English subtitles are completely fabricated.
A true translation from Italian to English shows the head of the Catholic Church discussing his aspiration for unity among Christians. The words he speaks in Italian have almost no resemblance to the fake English subtitles.
The version with the concocted subtitles was published on Facebook on January 11, 2023, (archived here) by an Australian user who described the video as “the Pope’s confession to the world” and “The Real Truth About The Vatican And The Jesuit Priests”.
The widely shared post has since racked up more than one million views on Facebook.
Many of the comments on the post point out the subtitles are false but at the time of writing, the video has not been deleted or corrected by the person who posted it.
According to a 2014 news report, the video was recorded on an iPhone by Tony Palmer, a Pentecostal bishop and a friend of the pontiff.
The recording was played at a January 2014 gathering of U.S. Pentecostal leaders hosted by Texas-based evangelical organisation Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
The original video with accurate subtitles is on the Kenneth Copeland Ministries website.
The Pope speaks in English before switching to Italian for the remainder of his seven-minute message.
The false subtitles on the Facebook version claim the Catholic leader starts the Italian-language part of his message by confessing to keeping secrets on behalf of his religion.
“You have to know something that I have been keeping secret for a long time,” the false subtitles read.
According to the fabricated subtitles, Pope Francis says people should not “look up” to him anymore or else they will be “thrown into a lake of fire”.
He then supposedly admits that Catholic leaders “really changed God’s law big time”.
At the 3min 53sec mark, a brief clip from a 1983 documentary interview with the late Alberto Rivera, a critic of the Catholic church who made a contested claim to be a former Jesuit priest, is edited into the video without explanation.
The genuine subtitles in the original video show Pope Francis talking about connections between Christian denominations and his hope for unity among them.
“We have lot of cultural riches, and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions. But we have to encounter one another as brothers,” Pope Francis says in the video.
“…And lets pray to the lord that he unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that He has begun.”
The claim that a video of the Pope shows him speaking about a secret agenda of the Catholic church is false.
The English subtitles on the video of the Pope speaking in Italian are fabricated.
The Pope spoke in the original video about Christian unity, not about the shortcomings of the Catholic church.
False – The claim is inaccurate