Pope Francis has not called for euthanizing people with disabilities and alcoholics to combat climate change

By: Vivek J
August 2 2023

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Pope Francis has not called for euthanizing people with disabilities and alcoholics to combat climate change


The Verdict False

Pope Francis has spoken against euthanasia on multiple occasions, and conspiracy theorists are making unwarranted allegations without any evidence.

Claim ID 6a7f5965


Social media users have claimed that Pope Francis has called for euthanizing people with autism, alcoholism, and other forms of illnesses to combat climate change. The caption of one X (formerly Twitter) post reads, “Pope Francis has thrown his weight behind the World Economics Forum’s campaign to euthanize people with autism, alcoholism and other minor illnesses and disabilities to help humanity fight so-called “climate change.” Archives of such posts can be seen here and here. This post linked to an article (archived here) published by “The People’s Voice,” a site that pushes conspiracy theories and misinformation. 

A video with the same claims allegedly made by the Pope is also circulating. The video features known conspiracy theorist Sean Adl-Tabatabai, the founder of NewsPunch, another known misinformation site. 

Contrary to the claims, Pope Francis has never made such a statement. 

In fact

The article by The People’s Voice bears the heading “Pope Francis Says Alcoholics, Autistic and Disabled People Should Be Euthanized To ‘Fight Climate Change,’” but does not state where the Pope made such claims. It goes one to connect Pope Francis to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which has long been a target of conspiracy theorists.

There are no credible news reports about the Pope making such claims. The last reports about Pope Francis speaking about climate change came during the Angelus Prayers held by Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican on July 23, 2023. The Vatican has released a full transcript of the Pope’s prayers and the message that followed. It bears no references close to euthanasia as a means to combat climate change. 

Pope Francis says, “Here, and in many countries, we are experiencing extreme climatic events: on the one hand, various regions are affected by anomalous heatwaves and struck by devastating fires; on the other, in a number of places there are storms and floods, like those that have swept across South Korea in recent days. I am close to those who suffer and those who are assisting the victims and the displaced. And please, I reiterate my appeal to the leaders of Nations, that something more tangible be done to limit polluting emissions: it is an urgent challenge and cannot be postponed; it affects everyone. Let us protect our common home!”

He also referred to climate change in detail in 2015. This was an encyclical letter, “Laudato Si,” that called upon world leaders of developed countries to immediately address climate change.

A press release by the Holy See Press Office of the Vatican contains a letter of Congregation for the doctrine of faith, “Samaritanus bonus on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life,” and refers to euthanasia as a “crime against human life.” A New York Times article dated September 22, 2020, referred to this same letter and noted that it was explicitly endorsed by Pope Francis.

Furthermore, Agencia de Noticias de Portugal (LUSA), one of Portugal’s leading news agencies, quoted the Pope as saying, “Today, I am very sad because a law to kill has been enacted in the country where Our Lady appeared. One more step in the long list of countries that have approved euthanasia.” The pope made this statement while addressing the World Union of Catholic Women’s organization on May 13, 2023, as noted in the LUSA report. 

The verdict

Reports of Pope Francis calling for euthanizing disabled people and alcoholics have only appeared on websites known for propagating conspiracy theories. While the Pope has called for action on climate change on multiple occasions, he strongly opposes the practice of euthanizing people. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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