Pope Francis Shocks World By Endorsing Donald Trump-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Pope Francis has endorsed Donald Trump after the FBI declined to bring charges against Hillary Clinton because, the Pope said, a strong rule of law is the backbone of America’s government.

The Truth:

Pope Francis hasn’t endorsed Donald Trump.

That rumor started with a story that appeared at the fake news website WTOE 5 News under the headline, “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.”

The statement that the Pope supposedly released reads:

“I have been hesitant to offer any kind of support for either candidate in the US presidential election but I now feel that to not voice my concern would be a dereliction of my duty as the Holy See. A strong and free America is vitally important in maintaining a strong and free world and in that sense what happens in American elections affects us all. The Rule of Law is the backbone of the American government as it is in any nation that strives for freedom and I now fear that the Rule of Law in America has been dealt a dangerous blow. The FBI, in refusing to recommend prosecution after admitting that the law had been broken on multiple occasions by Secretary Clinton, has exposed itself as corrupted by political forces that have become far too powerful. Though I don’t agree with Mr. Trump on some issues, I feel that voting against the powerful political forces that have corrupted the entire American federal government is the only option for a nation that desires a government that is truly for the people and by the people.  For this primary reason I ask, not as the Holy Father, but as a concerned citizen of the world that Americans vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States.”

The story was quickly shared nearly 70,000 times on Facebook. Taken out of context, many of its readers believed that it was true. However, WTOE 5 News is one of many fake news websites that is designed to look like a television news station. The site’s disclaimer clearly states, “WTOE is a fantasy news site.”

In reality, Pope Francis and Donald Trump engaged in a public feud earlier this year after the Pope said that anyone who wants to build a border wall was “not a Christian”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 07/21/2016

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