• A random website has spread a viral article claiming the Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis and two aides have the coronavirus
  • At this time there is no credibility to “MCM News” or the claim that the 82-year-old pontiff has the coronavirus
  • The viral clickbait article comes after the Pope cancelled scheduled events over the last few days after appearing ill days ago at a Mass for Ash Wednesday

Days after Pope Francis came down with a “slight indisposition,” a questionable “media outlet” claims the Vatican has confirmed the 82-year-old pontiff and two aides tested positive for COVID-19 after missing the third day of scheduled events. Just to be clear, as of now the Vatican did not confirm that Pope Francis has coronavirus.

The site MCM News ran an article titled “Vatican confirms Pope Francis and two aides test positive for Coronavirus.” The short and poorly put together article with no outside sources reads as follows:

The Vatican has confirmed in a statement that Pope Francis and two of his aides have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.

The three new cases add up to the over 400 cases confirmed in Italy under a week.

Pope Francis missed a planned Mass with clergy in Rome yesterday after showing Coronavirus-like symptoms.

The Vatican had earlier said the pontiff, 83, had a slight indisposition and could proceed with the rest of his planned work today.

The pope and his aides have been quarantined and receiving medical attention near Santa Marta, the Vatican hotel where he lives.

The pope was seen coughing and blowing his nose during the Asha Wednesday Mass.

MCM News

The article has gone viral but the site looks less than credible. Cindy Otis pointed out the website’s domain was registered in 2016 by a “domain squatter in China.” The registration on the site was changed just three days ago.

The site appears to have been thrown together in a hurry. The social media icons are broken and lead back to the site’s home page. There are roughly thirty articles on the site in total.

Currently, there is no credible media outlet reporting the claim and the Vatican has not released a statement. The site was likely created as a clickbait site to generate a quick profit with trigger words related to popular media stories.

It has been confirmed the 83-year-old pontiff did not show for two official audiences at the Apostolic Palace. One of the appearances would have been with a team of bioethicists and the other with the Catholic “Legion of Christ.” Papal officials said Francis is working from the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel during his recovery and noted he continues to attend morning Mass.

Concerns have spread for Francis after a video of Francis showed him coughing and wiping his nose during the Ash Wednesday Mass. Francis’ concerning behavior comes in the midst of an outbreak of COVID-19. As of Saturday, there were over 1,000 cases confirmed in Italy.


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