The Vatican and Pope Francis, targets of QAnon infox

Audio 03:43

Pope Francis wearing a face mask attends an interfaith prayer service for peace with other religious representatives in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church atop Rome's Capitoline Hill, in Rome, Italy, on 20 October 2020. (Illustrative image) REUTERS - GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE

By: Sophie Malibeaux

9 min

The crazy rumor of the pope's arrest resumed again this week on social networks, following the declarations of the sovereign pontiff concerning the vaccination against the Covid-19.

Like the President of the United States Joe Biden, the Vatican is the target of the infox conveyed by the conspiratorial movement QAnon.


Those who divulge the news of the arrest of Pope Francis are relying on “information that no major media disseminates”!

And for good reason… it is false, entirely invented.

The most interesting is the context in which this infox comes out: on Saturday, January 9, 2021, the Pope has just spoken about the

violent events

that have taken place in the United States, calling on the authorities and the American people to responsibilities and respect for democratic values.

We understand that Pope Francis then takes sides against the movement that led the assault on the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6.

Moreover the same day, Pope Francis announces that he will be vaccinated against Covid-19, and he encourages everyone to do so, believing that those who oppose it, show a "suicidal denial" ".

The two statements are unrelated to each other, but the conspirators make the connection.

It turns out that, among the protesters who forced the entrance to the Capitol, many are those who defend the theories of the



, convinced that Donald Trump came to save America from the actions of a pedophile and corrupt elite, also convinced that the pandemic is an invention of these elites to control populations with the help of a vaccine that would introduce a microchip into the body or other means of coercion.

Pro-Trump and against the Pope

The first trace of the rumor raised on the networks comes from the Canadian website: the

Conservative Beaver,

which was the first to publish an article about a Vatican blackout, during which the Pope was allegedly arrested by the Italian police and indicted in the stride of child trafficking, possession of child pornography images, various and varied frauds, a total of 80 charges are allegedly brought against him.

The fact-checking cell of the

USA Today


reports a similar news item that took place in the United States on January 7, which may have inspired the authors of the infox, who took more or less the list of reasons for indictment of a certain Grady Paul Gaston prosecuted on 75 grounds including the possession of child pornography, trafficking in human beings in particular.

This Canadian site is used to the disclosure of infox devoid of any credibility, which revolves in conspiratorial circles, which end up forgetting the case when reality comes to prove the futility of their claims.

This was the case for Georges Soros and Barack Obama, whose announced arrests never materialized.

The facts again denied the rumor spread by the Canadian site, since as of Sunday we could hear the Pope for the prayer of the Angelus, from the library of the Apostolic Palace.

The ultra-conservative conspiracy bubble

Infox was then used in particular by the American lawyer Lin Wood, one of the figures of the pro-Trump movement, on


 ", an



that the ultra-right particularly liked, until that it is taken out of service.

Videos are also circulating on twitter with a still shot that does not show much: a facade of the Vatican, or the Vatican plunged in darkness.

From this, the activists of the QAnon movement are responsible for spreading the false news and above all take the opportunity to comment on false accusations of pedophilia etc, on the same pattern as what they reproach the new president Joe Biden .

The accusations are baseless.

Seeing the Pope going about his business, communicating about the week's activities on his Twitter account, photographed in the company of a cardinal, some bring out the lookalike theory.

As it is difficult to refute facts that do not exist, the infox ends up leaving traces on the networks.

Pope Francis vaccinated against Covid-19

Finally this Thursday, January 14, the Vatican announces that the Pope was able to be vaccinated, as he had announced, still at large, with all due respect to the ultra-conservative at the origin of the rumor.

What we see, observing the accounts of those who relay this false information, is that the conspiratorial galaxy QAnon is expanding beyond its original perimeter.

The phenomenon born in the United States is spreading in obscurantist circles in France as elsewhere.

We can cite for example the traditionalist site Pro fide catolica, whose host Laurent Glauzy, obsessed with the pedosatanist plot and freemasonry, takes up the infox of the arrest of the Pope - once again - because he already claimed that the Pope was in prison ten months ago.

These are somewhat desperate disinformation campaigns in the face of the positions taken by a pope who has chosen to be favorable to the progress of science and to make it known.


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  • Infox

  • Social networks

  • Vatican

  • Coronavirus

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