A condemnation of racism that Pope Francis never said

This article appears in the The Francis Chronicles feature series. View the full series.

“Racism today is the ultimate evil in the world,” is a great quote, the problem is that Pope Francis never said it. 

The quote is attributed to Pope Francis by quotefancy.com, azquote.com, and quotter.net.

It was quoted by OIC of America and by prominent social justice advocates like Jesuit Fr. Fred Kammer and Redemptorist Fr. Maurice Nutt.

It has also been cited in numerous blogs, parish bulletins, Facebook pages, and even YouTube. It even made an appearance on DateHookup.com.

PICO used the quote, but now appears to have removed it from its website. 

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

For what Google can find on this quote, click here

So, where did it come from?

It appears to have originated in a fictitious 2013 news story on the calling of the Third Vatican Council. In the story, the pope condemns racism, declares all religions are true, and calls a council.

This does not appear to qualify as "fake news," since the site, Diversity Chronicle, has a disclaimer stating that "The original content of this blog is largely satirical." 

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is treesesj@ncronline.org.]

Editor's note: We can send you an email alert every time Thomas Reese's column, Faith and Justice, is posted. Go to this page and follow directions: Email alert sign-up.



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