Fact Check: Pope Francis Did NOT Die And Lin Wood's Quip Was A Question, Not A Claim

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: Pope Francis Did NOT Die And Lin Wood's Quip Was A Question, Not A Claim Pope Breathes

Did Pope Francis die in mid-April 2021 and did a leading American conspiracy theorist break the "news"? No, that's not true: The pope made several public appearances that offer proof of life and Lin Wood's off-the-cuff comment was a question, not a declaration.

The claim that Wood had revealed the pope's death circulated on numerous QAnon-linked websites and social media feeds, including this video posted on BitChute on April 21, 2021 titled "Q: 100% TRUTH! LIN WOOD DESTROYS DEEP STATE CABAL! PANIC IN DC POPE FRANCIS DEAD! VATICAN GOLD GONE!" (archived here), which opened:

I KNEW NOTHING about FREEMASONRY until Gwinnett County Sheriff 'Butch' Conway, Judge Hamill, DA 'Danny' Porter and THEIR Consigliere Alvin 'AB' Brooks TAUGHT me ALL about it. ...

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Q: 100% TRUTH! LIN WOOD DESTROYS DEEP STATE CABAL! PANIC IN DC POPE FRANCIS DEAD! VATICAN GOLD GONE!

ChristianPatriotNews: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/8XJCp11El6zu/ I KNEW NOTHING about FREEMASONRY until Gwinnett County Sheriff "Butch" Conway, Judge Hamill, DA "Danny" Porter and THEIR Consigliere Alvin "AB" Brooks TAUGHT me ALL about it. ...

The video includes a long clip of a speech by Atlanta personal injury lawyer Lin Wood, who filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 election, arguing that dark forces had conspired to steal the election from Donald Trump. Those claims that have been dismissed as nonsense by the director of National Intelligence and Donald Trump's own attorney general, Bill Barr, who was speaking on the basis of Department of Justice investigations of fraud allegations.

It's unclear where Wood is speaking, but it appears to be a religious gathering. At 12 minutes and 56 seconds in the video, as Wood is talking, someone in the crowd yells out "The pope!" (presumably referring to the people involved in the so-called satanic, pedophilic/cannibalistic cabal, whom Wood said should all receive a videotape of his speech). Wood replies:

If the pope is still alive! But when you send it to the pope don't ask him to pay for it, 'cause I don't think he's got much money these days.

It's clear from the context that Wood is cracking wise, given that he follows up his rhetorical question with the quip about the pope not having much money.

Even if Wood did declare the pope dead, there's no evidence to support the claims made by people reposting the video that includes Wood's speech.

This video of the pontiff meeting with needy patients April 23, 2021, as they prepared for vaccination provides proof of life in that the event was witnessed by multiple Vatican outsiders. The Vatican's website provides several other reports on Pope Francis' meetings the week of April 21 at which people other than church staff and officials were present.

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  Dean Miller

Lead Stories staff writer Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a one-year Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy for six years. As Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a dual licensee, he oversaw radio, TV and print journalists, and documentary producers. He moved west to teach journalism at Western Washington University, edit The Port Townsend Leader and write the twice-weekly Save The Free Press column for the Seattle Times. Miller won the 2007 national Mirror Award for news industry coverage and he led the team that won the 2005 Scripps Howard first amendment prize. 

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