Vatican Starts Probe After Pope’s Instagram Account “Likes” Revealing Photo of Brazilian Model

The Vatican has started its investigation on how Pope Francis’s official Instagram account came to “like” a scantily dressed photo of Brazilian model, Natalia Garibotto. The post was shared on Instagram in October by Garibotto and although it is still unclear when the “endorsement” happened, the like from the Pontiff’s official account was still visible until November 13. A spokesperson from the Vatican has revealed that the Pope’s social media accounts are managed by a team of people and that he rarely writes social media content except during emergency or developing situations. The Vatican representative also mentioned that it has already asked Instagram for explanation regarding this incident.

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The Guardian: “The pope approves 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.”

Screenshot from The Guardian

The Guardian reports that according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), an investigation was under way to determine how the photo came to be liked.

A Vatican spokesperson disclosed that a team of people manage the pope’s various social media accounts.

Pope Francis’s official Instagram account, @franciscus, is attracting 7.4 million followers. The account does not follow any other accounts.

USA Today: A post shared by the model and influencer Natalia Garibotto in early October – featuring the model in revealing, schoolgirl-style lingerie – was liked from the pope’s official account, @franciscus.

Screenshot from USA Today

According to USA Today, the photo shared by the model and influencer Natalia Garibotto that was liked from the Pope’s Instagram account was captioned with a devil horn emoji, along with the suggestive line: “I can teach you a thing or two.”

On Nov. 14, a day after the Catholic News Agency reported on the scandal and asked the Holy See for comment, the like was removed. It is unclear when the pope’s account liked the photo on the platform.

In the days following media coverage of the fiasco, the Holy See declined to comment.