Did Pope Francis really say he was going to address the latest sex abuse scandal to hit the Catholic Church but only after he is finished talking about climate change? No, that's not true: the statement was made up by a Christian-themed satire website, it is not real, although many people believed it at first.
The story originated from an article published by The Babylon Bee on August 16, 2018 titled "Pope Says He Will Address Sex Abuse Scandal Once He's Finished Talking About Climate Change" (archived here) which opened:
VATICAN CITY--In his first public statement on the horrifying, devastating report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Pope Francis stated he would address the controversy in detail once he's done talking about climate change for a few more weeks.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church claimed he is deeply concerned with the tragic report, but is "just too swamped" with work fighting climate change, criticizing capitalism, and advocating for other issues of social justice to talk about the repulsive report at the moment.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, possibly leading them to think it was a legitimate news article:
VATICAN CITY--In his first public statement on the horrifying, devastating report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Pope Francis stated he would address the controversy in detail once he's done talking about climate change for a few more weeks. The head of the Roman Catholic Church claimed he is deeply concerned with the tragic ...
But "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:
The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.
The story got a big boost after conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro published it for his 4 million followers on Facebook without indicating it was a piece of satire:
In reality the Pope has condemned the sex abuse scandal and claimed to be on the victims' side:
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has condemned sexual abuse described in a Pennsylvania grand jury report and said Pope Francis is on the victims' side. "The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible," the Vatican said Thursday in a statement.
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