Hoax Alert: The Pope DID NOT Call Sanders Most Christian Candidate

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Did Pope Francis really declare Bernie Sanders, a Jewish Socialist Democrat from Brooklyn, to be the "most Christian" candidate for President of the United States? And was it really because both Jesus and Bernie were once Jewish carpenters?

Of course not. But you may have seen the 'news' online if one of your friends shared this satirical piece from the Stubhill News:

Pope calls Sanders "most Christian" candidate

In a surprise speech, Pope Francis has declared Bernie Sanders, a Jewish Socialist Democrat from Brooklyn, as the "most Christian" candidate for President of the United States. The fact that Jesus and Bernie Sanders were both once Jewish carpenters was cited to support the claim, and The Pope made sure to clarify that the political ideology of Sanders was not the basis of the Christ comparison.

You have to admit, the introduction of the piece looks realistic enough to fool the casual observer into sharing the article without checking the source. And it hasn't been the first time a hoax article has claimed the Pope supports Bernie Sanders. Additionally USA TODAY columnist Stephen Prothero (who is not the head of the Catholic church) recently did write a column calling Sanders the most Christian candidate.

But the Stubhill News is a satirical website, so anything they print is unlikely to be true. And the hint is right there at the top of the page, in the subheading:

Print omnibus apta est excrementum

For our readers who don't understand Latin, it reads "All the sh*t that's fit to print", a clear parody of the famous "All the news that's fit to print" slogan from the New York Times.

Obviously many people haven't bothered to click through to the article (or they didn't read Latin) because the story is taking off on social media anyway:

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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