FACT CHECK: Did Pope Francis Say God Instructed Him To ‘Revise The Ten Commandments’?

Varun Hukeri | General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

An image shared on Facebook nearly 200 times claims Pope Francis said that God instructed him to “revise the Ten Commandments.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Pope Francis made the statement attributed to him in the post. The claim originates from an article published on a website classified as a fake news organization.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post includes a screen grab of an article published Sept. 23 on the website WorldTruth.TV with the headline, “Pope Francis: God Has Instructed Me to Revise the Ten Commandments.” The website is included in a database of “fake, false, regularly misleading, and otherwise questionable ‘news’ organizations” compiled by Merrimack College assistant professor Melissa Zimdars, one of whose stated research focuses is “fake news.”

The WorldTruth.TV article claims Pope Francis made the statement while holding a Mass in Ecuador. The purported revision of the Ten Commandments would “reflect the changing times” and included “some minor rewording of the existing rules” along with “two new Commandments.” The headline and text of the article appears to lift word-for-word from another article published July 6, 2015 on the website RealNewsRightNow.com, which is also included in Zimdars’ database. (RELATED: Did The Vatican Confirm Pope Francis Has The Novel Coronavirus?)

Pope Francis visited Guayaquil, Ecuador in July 2015 as part of a three-day trip to South America, BBC News reported. But there is no record of him mentioning revisions to the Ten Commandments during the televised Spanish-language mass. Check Your Fact didn’t find any credible media outlets attributing the quote to Pope Francis, and the Vatican hasn’t issued a press release announcing changes to that effect.

This isn’t the first time social media users have shared fabricated statements attributed to Pope Francis. Earlier this year, Check Your Fact debunked an image that claimed Pope Francis said, “God will abandon America if [President Donald] Trump is re-elected.”

Varun Hukeri

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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