The fake viral photo of pope Francis: who is the priest that gives the communion to Videla

It appeared in the main social networks and different theories about the priest identity were made. The Obra Don Orione confirms that the man in the picture is a deceased priest that gave mass in their chapel.

19 de Marzo 2013
The fake viral photo of pope Francis: who is the priest that gives the communion to Videla

When the world heard the news of the appointment of Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope a photograph appeared in the main social networks. In the picture there is a priest giving communion to former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. Although the image was replicated thousands of times relating it to the now Pope Francisco, there were some people that denied that the priest in the picture was Bergoglio and others said that the former Archbishop Derisi was the one in the photo. Infotechnology.com confirmed that actually who is giving the communion to the dictator is Father Carlos Berón de Astrada during a mass in the Central House Chapel (also called "provincial") of the Pequeña Obra de la Divina Providencia Don Orione. The photograph was taken in 1990 and is now distributed by AFP.

Lazaro Maisler, spokesperson of the Obra Don Orione, spoke to this media outlet and explained that the "video was filmed in our Provincial House and the Priest is Father Carlos Beron de Astrada". Thus, Maisler also denied that it was Jorge Bergoglio, as the rumors suggested. "Obviously is not Bergoglio, because the person you can see is very old," he said. We also contacted another source who declined to be named, but met Father Carlos Beron de Astrada, and confirmed the Maisler’s version: who appears in the picture is the priest, who died in 1997. The same source said that Videla used to attend the Chapel, "probably because he lived nearby," he explained.

Facebook: Diego Lima

The photograph was taken at the main church located in Carlos Pellegrini 1441 on December 30 of 1990 and not during the dictatorship as stated in Facebook and Twitter, according to information included in the image file of AFP. The author of the picture cannot be seen, but it was published by the newspaper Crónica.

The text data of the picture, created by the agency AFP, says: "Former Argentine military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla takes communion on December 30, 1990 in Buenos Aires. Videla was serving a life sentence for murder , kidnapping and torture, was forgiven by President Carlos Menem and was released on December 30, 1990 ".

Ver Don Orione - Pequeña Obra de la Div Providencia en un mapa ampliado

Father Beron (whose name is also written with "V", depending on the file to be consulted) was the representative of the Obra Don Orione between 1970 and 1976, and then continued to provide masses in place, according to Maisler.

Comparing the picture with the video (which the first few seconds must be seen in order to compare), you will see that a woman with a floral dress appeared in both and, after Videla receives communion the same young man who is waiting to receive communion can be seen. Also, if you look the video in detail you can see a photographic flash coming from behind the priest.



The chapel has changed radically. According to Maisler, after the terrorist attack to the Israeli Embassy, the place was badly damaged and had to be rebuilt. The video, discovered by Javier del Rio, was shared on Twitter by Paula Maria Pia a photographer who, in conversation with Infotechnology.com, said a group of colleagues were, after realizing that it was not Bergoglio, trying to decipher who it was guided by physical features and posture.

Other errors 

Carlos Beron de AstradaThe false picture between Videla and Bergoglio was not the only hoax that circulated through social networks. With the designation of Francisco, many parishioners in Twitter began to alert the community of fake accounts with the name of the new pope. @ JMBergoglio, among other accounts, began to be followed by people who imagined that the account belonged to the priest. However, the first tweets that were written in the account were enough to notice that it was not official.

There were also other accounts, such as @JMBergogliok or @_JBergoglio_. The first one was in clear opposition to the pope, while the second could fool more many users, since it has the same background as the Vatican's official account and also made religious tweets.

Bergoglio’s presence in Twitter will be exclusively through the Vatican's official account: @ pontifex and its variations for each language.

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