FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Pope Francis Saying, ‘I Have A Secret Agenda To Deceive You’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Pope Francis said he has “a secret agenda” to deceive people, and urged them to stop following him.

Verdict: False

Pope Francis did not make statements to that effect. The English subtitles from Pope Francis’ comments in Italian are incorrect.

Fact Check:

The video starts with Pope Francis speaking in English, saying he will be speaking in Italian for the rest of his speech. As he addresses the camera in Italian, English subtitles are displayed, showing Pope Francis supposedly speak about how he and the Catholic Church have been deceiving everyone.

“So really your family should not follow me or look up to me anymore,” the pope allegedly said in Italian. “Otherwise you and your family will be mislead and be thrown into the lake of fire. I am ashamed to tell you this, but I have a secret agenda to deceive you.” (RELATED: Did Chelsea Clinton Tweet, ‘If Jesus Were Alive Today He’d Be Working At Planned Parenthood’?)

The subtitles in the video further quote him as saying Catholic church leaders have “changed God’s law,” and that he is the “man of sin mentioned in the Bible.” Pope Francis allegedly further explains that “what is happening here is very, very prophetic” and Tony Palmer “knows what I am talking about.”

The video does not, however, show the pope talking about his “secret agenda” to deceive people. Through a reverse image search of key frames, Check Your Fact found the video posted on YouTube in February 2014 by Palmer, a friend of the pope and a bishop in the independent Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, according to the Washington Post. Palmer recorded the video of Pope Francis speaking, the outlet reported.

The original footage of the pope was presented by Palmer at a Kenneth Copeland Ministers Conference held from Jan. 21 to Jan. 23, 2014 in Texas, according to the description of the YouTube video. That video shows different subtitles for Pope Francis’ speech. The pope’s speech was actually about Christian unity, not his “secret agenda,” per the subtitles.

An article published by Catholic Philly, a Catholic News Service, linked to a different YouTube video featuring the same subtitles as Palmer’s. Had the pope actually spoken about a “secret agenda” to deceive Catholics during a conference, media outlets certainly would have reported on it, yet none have. We rate this claim false.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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