The Vatican said it was seeking explanations from Instagram after Pope Francis’s official account liked a photo of a scantily dressed Brazilian model.
The Guardian reports that it was unclear when the photo of Natalia Garibotto was given an endorsement by the pope’s verified account, but the “like” was still visible on 13 November before being unliked the next day, according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
COY Co, Garibotto’s management company, made the most of the publicity and reposted the image on its own Instagram account last Friday saying the company had “received the POPE’S OFFICIAL BLESSING”.
Garibotto, who has 2.4 million Instagram followers, is also reported to have joked: “At least I’m going to heaven.”
Citing sources close to the Vatican’s press office, CNA said an investigation was under way to determine how the photo came to be liked.
A team of people manage the pope’s various social media accounts.
A Vatican spokesperson told the Guardian: “We can exclude that the ‘like’ came from the Holy See, and it has turned to Instagram for explanations.”