The Vatican has launched an internal investigation after the official Instagram of Pope Francis ‘liked’ a raunchy picture of an erotic model. The picture involved 27-year-old Natalia Garibotto dressed in a schoolgirl’s uniform showing off her derrière.
The like stayed in place for at least a day leading many to ponder how exactly it had transpired. It is not thought that the Pope uses his own Instagram account and that is in fact used on his behalf by a Vatican PR team. The question still remains as to why anyone using that account was looking at such images.
Anyone who follows both the Pope, who has 7.4 million followers, and who then later saw the picture of Garibotto would have likely seen that he ‘liked’ her. Garibotto herself is extremely popular and has over 2.4 million followers. Her PR team claimed that this means that she has received the Pope’s official blessing. Garibotto herself added:
“At least I’m going to heaven.”
Robert Mickens, the editor of the English-language edition of Catholic newspaper La Croix, said of the incident:
“The pope is not like Donald Trump, he’s not sitting around using his phone or computer to tweet all day long. He does, for example, approve the tweets – but not the likes – and on very rare occasions he has said he would like to tweet something because of a developing situation or emergency. So he would have nothing to do with this – it’s the communications department, and how this happens … who knows.”
The Pope himself has been quite liberal on social issues and has previously chastised the church for being too hung-up on sex and relationships as opposed to more pressing issues that he believes are more important to God. On a trip to Mozambique, he told a gathering of Jesuit priests:
“One dimension of clericalism is the exclusive moral fixation on the sixth commandment…because the most serious sins are those that are more angelical: pride, arrogance, dominion…. And the least serious are those that are less angelical, such as greed and lust. We focus on sex and then we do not give weight to social injustice, slander, gossip, and lies. The Church today needs a profound conversion in this area.”
The Pope is hardly the first public figure to be seen to ‘accidentally’ like a post on social media. In 2017 US Senator and former Republican presidential nominee Ted Cruz was in hot-water after his Twitter account liked a pornographic tweet. He had previously supported a ban on the sale of s***x-toys.