Rumors started to fly around social media Monday claiming that Pope Francis was “likely” to resign from the papacy “in the next few hours.”
The pope is currently hospitalized after undergoing a surgery July 4 to remove part of his colon, fueling reports that health reasons could have prompted Francis to take this step.
In fact, there is no sign that Pope Francis intends to resign soon. And the confusing reports are probably explained by a mistranslation of Italian into English.
The initial social media reports of a pending papal resignation cited a July 12 post by the popular Italian Catholic news aggregator Il Sismografo.
In the post, the website’s editors commented on a video showing Pope Francis being pushed in a wheelchair in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Sunday, July 11, as he greeted medical workers and patients.
Some social media commentators quoted an out-of-context and poor English translation of the last sentence of the article.
The final sentence of the post, which was published at 9:22 a.m. Rome time, said, “meanwhile, rumors are coming from Gemelli about the likely discharge of the Pope in the next few hours.”
The Italian sentence used the word “dimissione,” which in context meant “discharge” or “release” from hospital.
The confusing part is that the same Italian word can also be translated to mean “resignation” in English.
Online A.I. translators like Google Translate do not have context for translations and are likely to give the most frequently or commonly used meaning of a word. Thus translating “dimissione” as “resignation.”
Read more at Catholic News Agency