Vatican City, Jan 3, 2017 / 02:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Widely shared quotes attributed to Pope Francis, in which he advocates for a merging of the religions of Christianity and Islam, have been debunked by the Vatican as fake.
One of the quotes falsely attributed to Francis states: “Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is distinctly the same across the world. For centuries, blood has been needlessly shed because of the desire to segregate our faiths.” Another false quote states: “We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now.”
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told the Associated Press that the quotes are “invented.” Various versions of this story can be found on different websites and blogs at least as early as 2015. It is not the first time quotes have been falsely attributed to the Holy Father.
A widely-circulated meme that originated around December 2014 falsely quotes Francis saying that belief in God “is not necessary” to be a good person. The quote has not been corroborated by any official text or statement of Pope Francis. On another occasion, during World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil, a poem falsely attributed to Pope Francis went viral on social media. The original source of the poem can not be verified, but the first English version of the poem appeared online as early as 2010, three years before Francis’ election to the petrine ministry.