Is Pope Francis Really Dying? What We Know About the Viral Claim

Catholic Church England and Wales, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Is Pope Francis really dying?

That’s what a recent Newsmax report claims.

Newsmax White House correspondent and political columnist John Gizzi wrote an article claiming Pope Francis “is dying” and the Vatican does not expect him to survive past 2022. The article adds that the Vatican is preparing for a conclave.

Gizzi said his source is a secretary to one of the Vatican’s most powerful cardinals. However, the online story does not provide easily accessible information. It stands behind a paywall.

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Catholic pilgrimage organizer and leader Mountain Butorac (also known as ‘The Catholic Traveler‘) responded to this claim on social media. He lives in Rome and conducts pilgrimages across Europe and the Holy Land.

Here’s the post below:

@thecatholictraveler, Instagram

Butorac’s post reads, “I’d like to thank the fine journalist who wrote the article saying Pope Francis would die in the next 13 months. I’ve been answering questions about it all afternoon.

“Great job putting an article with that headline behind a paywall too. 💰🙄⁣⁣

“Pope Francis is 84, has one lung, and recently had major surgery. Not really a stretch to make this claim each year. ⁣

“Also, the Vatican is always in pre-Conclave mode. It’s not like they just throw those things together all willy-nilly.

“And finally, we are all dying. Memento mori. ☠️”

Here’s how some people responded his post:

One user said, “Yikes…Clickbait to the extreme…”

Another user said, “I got that headline. So frustrating!”

This user added, “Well said.”

@jesesparza, Instagram

This user also said, “I saw that too and wondered about it. The news wasn’t coming up anywhere else so I had my doubts. Scams are everywhere.”

From what ChurchPOP finds, Newsmax is the only news outlet reporting Pope Francis’ supposed soon-to-be death.

While the Pope’s death is always possible, let us trust God’s plan and pray for our Pope every day, rather than worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, please pray for Pope Francis!

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[See also: “No Longer an Atheist”: Activist Kaitlin Bennett Announces Conversion to Catholic Faith]

[See also: Is This The Holy Spirit? Viral Video Shows Incense Halo Above Pope Francis at Pentecost Mass]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.