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Satire – Pope Francis and the ‘Third Vatican Council’

by Brett M. Christensen


Circulating report claims that Pope Francis has announced sweeping changes to long-standing Catholic doctrines after concluding the Third Vatican Council. Supposedly, Pope Francis declared that “all religions are true”, that “there is no literal hell”, and that the “church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice”. 

Brief Analysis

The claims are untrue. The report comes from the satirical website Diversity Chronicle and is a work of fiction. There is no Third Vatican Council and Pope Francis made no such announcements.



For the last six months, Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating in Vatican City, discussing the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas. The Third Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the largest and most important since the Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962. Pope Francis convened the new council to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.” While some traditionalists and conservative reactionaries on the far right have decried these efforts, they have delighted progressives around the world.

The Third Vatican Council concluded today with Pope Francis announcing that Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes. (Read full article)

Pope Third Vatican Council Satire Post


Detailed Analysis

According to a report currently circulating via social media and the blogosphere, Pope Francis has announced radical changes to traditional Catholic doctrines after concluding the Third Vatican Council. The report claims that Pope Francis has declared that “all religions are true” and that “the church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer”. Supposedly, the pope announced that Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes” and is “big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice”.

However, the claims in the report are untrue. Pope Francis has made no such statements. Moreover, there is no Third Vatican Council. The Second Vatican Council took place between 1962 and 1965.  There is yet to be a Third Vatican Council and there have been no official announcements about when or if such a council might take place.
In fact, the report is a satirical piece that was originally published on the Diversity Chronicle website.  The report is a work of fiction. A disclaimer on the website notes:

The original content on this blog is largely satirical.

The disclaimer goes on to explain that the author, Erik Thorson, created the blog for his own personal amusement.

Unfortunately, this fictional story has well and truly escaped the confines of its satirical home and has travelled far and wide.  Even some news outlets have picked up the story and republished it as true.

Satire has its place, but the Internet provides a perfect environment for satire to circulate in such a way that many people believe it to be true, thereby causing confusion and misunderstanding across the interwebs.

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,