Pope Francis Warned of “Hellfire from Above” Ahead of U.S. Visit-Fiction!

Pope Francis Warned of “Hellfire from Above” Ahead of U.S. Visit-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Pope Francis warned that a future event would bring “hellfire from above” in a sermon at Saint Peter’s Square.
The Truth:
Pope Francis did not warn that future events would bring hellfire from above to earth in a sermon at Saint Peter’s Square.
That false reported was started by the fake news website Real News, Right Now. In a story headlined “Pope Francis warns of ‘hellfire from above’ ahead of U.S. visit,” the website reports:

VATICAN CITY – During a sermon at Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke of a “forthcoming event in which the earth will be consumed by hellfire from above” and asked Christians around the world to absolve themselves of sin in the days and weeks ahead.

In a statement released by the Vatican Tuesday morning, Pope Francis, who is scheduled to arrive in the United States on September 22nd, announced that he has been visited “on three occasions by heavenly beings” who, most recently, have warned of an “impending crisis” that could have dire consequences for life on earth.

The Pope is set to attend a meeting of the UN General Assembly on September 25th, at the United Nations building in New York where he will confer with world leaders, including President Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin, to discuss defensive options…

Unlike many fake news websites, Real News, Right Now doesn’t clearly identify its stories as satirical or fake. Rather, the website takes a more subtle approach to “out” its publisher/author as a satirist:

Hobbus J.D. is an internationally acclaimed independent investigative journalist specializing in international politics, health, business, science, conflict resolution, history, geography, mathematics, social issues, feminism, space travel, civil rights, human rights, animal rights, fashion, film, astronomy, classic literature, religion, biology, paranormal activity, the occult, physics, psychology, and creative writing. He has appeared in countless publications including Time Magazine, Newsweek, Playboy, The Economist, The New York Times, Mad Magazine, Hustler, Guns & Ammo, People, Maxim Magazine, Highlights, The 9/11 Commission Report, The New Yorker, Bon Appetite, Rolling Stone, Car & Driver, Soldier of Fortune, Elle, Nintendo Power, National Geographic, and many more. He has received numerous awards for his work including the prestigious Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity (2011), The Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence (2003), three Nobel Peace Prize nominations, one Pulitzer in Investigative Reporting (1998), and two Pulitzer Prizes in Commentary (1996, 2008). He resides comfortably in his modest home overlooking the coast of Nantucket surrounded by his wife and twelve cats.

That description doesn’t clearly identify the website as a purveyor of fake news, but it’s full of tongue-and-cheek references that tell the story: Stephen Glass is a disgraced journalist who made up stories, and Oscar Meyer is one of the world’s biggest producers of baloney, for example.
The fictional report that Pope Francis had warned of hellfire from above plays off actual, earlier comments that the pope made about climate change. At the time, Pope Francis said, “Doomsday predictions can longer be met with irony or disdain.”
But did Pope Francis urge the world to repent for their sins before a future event sends hellfire from above? The answer is “no.”
We reviewed transcripts of Pope Francis’s sermons at Saint Peter’s Square and couldn’t find any reference to “hellfire from above” — or to climate change in general for that matter — in the weeks leading up to the fictional report published by Real News, Right Now.