Did Pope Francis Perform the Tablecloth Trick?

Pope Francis seemingly pulled off a popular trick and whisked a tablecloth from atop a table without disturbing the latter's contents.

  • Published 8 October 2015

Claim

Pope Francis was filmed performing a tablecloth trick during his visit to the United States in 2015.

Rating

Origin

Depending upon your religion, you may find it plausible that Pope Francis can perform miracles; depending upon your level of gullibility, you may find it plausible that Pope Francis pulled off a popular trick and whisked a tablecloth from atop a table without disturbing the latter’s contents:

Francis, the magic dino-pope.

On 30 September 2015, daytime talk show host Ellen Degeneres unveiled a video purportedly showing the Pope achieving the latter feat:

The above-displayed video was obviously a joke. Ellen’s set up of the clip, as well as the fact that it originated on her program, made that clear. But a few days after this video aired on her talk show, a new version was posted online that lacked Ellen’s introduction. And without the comical context of the Ellen Degeneres Show, many viewers were left believing that the Pope actually performed the displayed tablecloth trick.

Of course, that was not the case. The original video from which it was created simply showed the Pope placing some flowers on the table and then walking away:

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes