Fake News: Two Priests NOT Arrested After Putting Weed Into A Thurible

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Did you read the story about the two priests in Santiago de Compostela in Spain who were arrested after they put weed in the thurible? It is not true: it originated on a Spanish satire website. (If you didn't know: a thurible is a vessel suspended by chains that is used to burn incense during various Christian worship services.)

The story got popular after an English version titled "2 Priests Arrested After Putting Weed Into A Thurible" appeared on a website named "8SHIT" on February 18th 2018 (archived here) which opened:

What started as, apparently, a simple joke, has ended up with two priests arrested after they were caught putting weed into the botafumeiro of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

The original Spanish version of the story appears to have come from a Spanish satirical website named "Hay Noticia" (= "There is news").


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is famous for having the largest thurible in the world, named the "Botafumeiro". You can see it in action in this video:

But there definitely wasn't any marijuana in it. The article was posted in the "Society" category and 8shit.net has a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that reads:

8Shit is a satire news and humor website. All its content is fiction (except those posts under the "serious" category) and shouldn't be taken as real. All references, names and marks or institutions in this website are used as contextual elements, like in any novel or science-fiction story.

Furthermore, 8shit.net carries a disclaimer on its about page that reads:

8Shit is a satire and humor website.

It contains cutting edge satire on a diverse range of topics.

The website publishes fake news, shocking rumors and reports with incisive sarcasm, and humor.

We also post crazy real news which often sounds too good to be true.

Sorry to disappoint those of you who were already considering going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela because of this article...

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  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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