FACT CHECK: Did The Telegraph Publish This Tweet About Pope Francis And Artificial Intelligence?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Instagram purports the British newspaper The Telegraph reported on a tweet from Pope Francis suggesting artificial intelligence (AI) is a “means of communicating to God.”


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A post shared by The Holy Fool 🃏 (@okschizo)

Verdict: False

The tweet is digitally fabricated. A spokesperson for the outlet denied the purported tweet’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check:

Pope Francis thanked faithful Catholics for their prayers following his three-day hospital stay during Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, according to The New York Times. The pope was recently treated for bronchitis at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The Instagram post allegedly reports on a tweet from the pontiff regarding AI. “Pope Francis suggests that recent technological breakthroughs are a ‘means of communicating to God,'” the purported tweet from The Telegraph reads. “As priests deliberate over impact of AI, Pope Francis suggests Divine Communion.”

The tweet is digitally fabricated. The purported tweet appears to have been fabricated from a genuine article published by the outlet, whose headline reads, “Priests may not have to be celibate in future, Pope Francis suggests.” The article includes the same photo of the pontiff as the fabricated tweet. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Pope Francis Wearing An Oversized White Puffer Coat?)

“The screenshot is false,” a Telegraph spokesperson denied the purported tweet’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact. In addition, the outlet’s spokesperson directed us to the article about priests and celibacy.

There are no credible news reports suggesting the pontiff made the remark. Likewise, neither the Telegraph’s website nor its verified social media accounts feature the purported claim. In addition, the Holy See has not publicly addressed the purported claim.

Check Your Fact has also contacted the Holy See for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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