Vatican launches investigation after Pope Francis' Instagram account 'likes' Brazilian bikini model photo

Friday 20th November 2020 11:00 GMT

The "like" was reported by news outlets this month and was "unliked" just a day later according to the Catholic News Agency (CAN).

It reports that the Pope's various social media channels are managed by a communications team of employees - and that an internal inquiry is under way to determine how the incident occurred.

CNA asked the Holy See Press Office for comment - but it has reportedly declined to comment.

The model Natalia Garibotto, who has 2.4 million Instagram followers, is reported to have joked "at least I'm going to heaven".

She also light-heartedly tweeted: "Brb (be right back) on my way to the Vatican."

The Brazilian model's management and publicity firm COY CO capitalised on the opportunity for publicity purposes, posting on Instagram last week that the company had "received the POPE'S OFFICIAL BLESSING".

According to Garibotto's website, subscribers have "exclusive" access to "sexy content, follow back on socials… signed Polaroid's" and the opportunity to speak to her directly.

Neither the Pope's verified account nor the model's follow each other.

The official papal account has 7.4 million followers - but does not follow anyone else.

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