IN SHORT: A series of photos have been posted on Facebook claiming that Pope Francis, the world leader of the Roman Catholic church, has approved the baptism of animals. But this is false.
But is the claim about animal baptism true? We checked.
But the news that the pope has allowed pets to be baptised has not been reported anywhere. This is suspicious, as such news would also have made international headlines.
The claim is accompanied by several photos. We checked each of them to see if they showed the baptism of the pets in progress.
A reverse image search of the first photo shows that it was published back in June 2016. It was captioned: “Pope Francis greets members of a lifeguard association with their dogs during the weekly general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican on June 8, 2016.”
Republish our content for free
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.