Is This Pope Francis Dancing Merengue?

A viral video purportedly showing Pope Francis dancing merengue actually shows a lookalike at a Halloween party.

  • Published 26 January 2018

Claim

A video shows Pope Francis dancing merengue.

Rating

Origin

Pope Francis is reportedly a tango fan — but does the octogenarian Holy Father dance merengue? A video making the rounds on social media has fooled some into thinking that the Pope danced merengue (which some mistook for salsa) on a 2017 visit to Colombia:  

This footage shows a man dressed up in a pope costume at a Halloween party. In the video, you can clearly see Halloween decorations (a large spider and cobwebs) on the ceiling and a couple dressed as skeletons on the dance floor:

Facebook user Fredy Gonzalez posted the earliest iteration of the video that we could find on 1 November 2017 (the day after Halloween). Gonzalez joked that the video showed “the reality of the Pope’s visit” to Colombia, which had occurred a few months before. When some commenters didn’t seem to understand the joke, Gonzalez said in Spanish, “Haha don’t get bitter that it’s fake. The Pope is Argentine — why would he dance with that Colombian flavor?”

In case it still wasn’t clear, he added:

Pope Francis, is that you?

Although the quality of this footage deteriorated as it was circulated around the internet, the original footage gives a pretty clear view of the “dancing pope,” who appears to be much younger and taller than Pope Francis. 

The Pope’s actual visit was well-documented, and no genuine news sources made mention of the Holy Father attending a Halloween party to do the merengue. 

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