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Hoax – ‘Pope Comes Out as Gay’

by Brett M. Christensen

Image: &copy depositphotos.com/miqu77

Outline

Social media driven message, couched as a news report, claims that Pope Benedict XVI resigned his papacy because he is gay and “could no longer live a lie”. 

Brief Analysis

The message is a hoax. Pope Benedict XVI made no such announcement. The story originates from a satirical website that publishes purely fictional reports in a news-like format.

Example

Pope Gay Hoax Message

Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he has resigned his papacy because he is gay and “could no longer live a lie.”

 

Detailed Analysis

This message, which is currently gaining momentum on Facebook and other social media sites, claims that Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he is gay and decided to resign his papacy because he could no longer live a lie. The message circulates in the guise of a news item and includes a picture of the Pope along with a link to the full report on the issue on dailycurrant.com. 
However, not surprisingly, Pope Benedict has made no such announcement. The story was first published on satirical website, The Daily Currant and is not a genuine news report. The Daily Currant’s “About” page explains the site’s purpose thusly:

The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media. Our mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress, and promote intelligence – which presses forward.

Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.

The stories published on The Daily Currant are not factual as most people who visit the site itself will quickly realize.

However, when such satirical pieces are lifted from their original context and began circulating via other media, they are apt to fool at least a few readers into believing their claims.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer