Francis raps: #PopeBars mesmerizes social media

This story appears in the Francis in Africa 2015 feature series. View the full series.

by Brian Roewe

NCR environment correspondent

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God bless the Internet.

Pope Francis' three-country trip to Africa, which concluded Monday, presented numerous memorable moments, including in the Central African Republic, a war-torn country where he brought a message of peace in addition to opening early the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

But in the age of gifs and memes, the image is king. So it goes for Francis in Africa.

As the trip wrapped up Monday, a picture of the pope from the Agence France-Presse, taken by photographer Gianluigi Guercia, caught fire online.

The photo shows Francis holding a microphone while speaking to a refugee camp Sunday in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Seemingly nondescript, the photographer captured the pope in mid-motion, clutching the mic around its head and holding it close to his mouth as his left hand moves flatly from his body.

Kinda like a rapper would. 

And thus, the hashtag #PopeBars was born.

By mid-morning Monday, #PopeBars was among the top trends on Twitter in the U.S., South Africa, and several other countries, with thousands of tweets offering up new lyrics, or bars, for the papal MC. Fair warning: As par for the Internet, some of the tweets use crude and vulgar language, and could be viewed by some as offensive or disrespectful, so click with caution. But we've pulled some of the best -- and cleanest -- #PopeBars and included them in the Storify below. 

[Brian Roewe is an NCR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianRoewe.]


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