A video gone viral on social media shows Pope Francis being hit in the face by a newspaper during his visit to Chile, fueling caption contests in the blogosphere.
As Italian news outlet ANSA reported: “Unfazed, the pope kept on smiling and merely turned to look down at his feet and see what it was. The video of the incident is going viral on TV and websites.”
After the video circulated, submissions of possible captions for the image followed, including such quips as “Prominent Newspaper Slams Pope” and “He wouldn’t know news if he was hit over the head with it.”
One commenter said that the pope had received “a complimentary newspaper,” while papal biographer Austen Ivereigh proposed, “In journalism nowadays impact is everything.”
In journalism nowadays impact is everything. https://t.co/kRfZ8k7jpR
— Austen Ivereigh (@austeni) January 16, 2018
Police reportedly arrested “dozens” of protesters gathered near a plaza where the pontiff was celebrating his first open-air Mass during his Chile visit on Tuesday. The arrests came after police finished spraying the group of some 100 persons with tear gas.
The demonstrators carried signs with messages such as “We don’t care about the Pope!”
According to the Washington Post, when Chileans were asked to evaluate Pope Francis on a scale of 0 to 10, they gave him a 5.3, “the lowest ranking he has received in Latin America.”
Moreover, at least nine churches were firebombed in the days leading up to the pope’s visit, and “vandals left fliers at some sites threatening to kill the pope.”
Pope Francis reportedly will devote his message for the 2018 World Communications Day later this month to the topic of “fake news,” calling for greater respect for the truth among journalists.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome