Pope Francis Dying Of The Coronavirus?

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Pope Francis visits the Saint Louis Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand

By Andrew Shuster |

Pope Francis visits the Saint Louis Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand

(Getty Images)

Pope Francis is not “dying” of the coronavirus, despite a ridiculous tabloid report. The pope hasn’t been infected with the virus, which has rapidly spread across Italy. Gossip Cop can set the record straight.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis was seen coughing during his Sunday service at the Vatican. This alone prompted the Globe to declare that the pope has contracted the coronavirus and is deathly ill. “His coughing at the service scarily fit in with what is happening all over Italy and the world,” an unknown source tells the magazine.

From there, a “medical expert” who’s never treated or met the pope says the 83-year-old leader is at “great risk” of dying from the coronavirus due to his age. “He’s at high risk for having serious complications,” says the doctor, who’s never been in the pope’s presence. The magazine’s other alleged “insider” then adds, “He’s in terrible danger. The pope needs a miracle to survive.”

Despite what the outlet’s unidentified “source” claims, a Vatican official confirms that Pope Francis does not have the coronavirus. Although it’s true that the Holy Father was seen coughing during a Sunday service, a spokesperson for the Vatican says he merely had a cold, which was “running its course, without symptoms ascribable to any other diseases.”

Due to his cold, Pope Francis was forced to cancel a spiritual retreat in the Roman countryside last week. However, multiple reports have emerged that Pope Francis was tested for the coronavirus and the results came back negative. Meanwhile, Pope Francis has been live-streaming his morning Mass all week. He’s used his sermons to pray for all those affected by the pandemic. Pope Francis has recovered from his common cold and is resuming his duties from the Vatican, despite Italy currently being under lockdown.

To recap: Pope Francis got a cold, and the Globe decided to publish an insensitive and outrageous story about him dying of the coronavirus. There’s been a lot of misinformation spread amid the worldwide pandemic, but the tabloid’s article is a particularly egregious example.

Despite being the holiest of all the world leaders, the pope has been at the center of other stories from the supermarket tabloids. Last year, Gossip Cop busted the Globe’s sister publication, the National Enquirer, for falsely claiming Gwen Stefani was begging Pope Francis to annul her first marriage to Gavin Rossdale so she can marry Blake Shelton and have it be recognized by the Catholic Church. That story, while equally untrue, was far more frivolous than this latest one – which is shamelessly exploiting a deadly pandemic.


McElwee, Joshua J. “No, Pope Francis does not have the coronavirus.” National Catholic Reporter, 3 Mar. 2020.

Tacopino, Joe. “Pope Francis tests negative for coronavirus after canceling events due to illness.” The New York Post, 3 Mar. 2020.

Glatz, Carol. “Pope Francis: Governments need prayers to make hard decisions about coronavirus.” America Magazine, 12 Mar. 2020.

Shuster, Andrew. "Gwen Stefani Begs Pope For Annulment So She Can Marry Blake Shelton?" Gossip Cop, 28 Mar. 2019.