Pope Francis Accidentally Swears During Weekly Prayer, Proves He Truly Can Do No Wrong

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 3 2014 12:50 PM

Pope Francis Accidentally Dropped an Expletive During His Weekly Prayer

The above clip is from Pope Francis' weekly blessing from the Vatican, footage of which normally goes unnoticed by your Twitter feed and mine. Then again it's not everyday that the Holy See accidentally drops a curse word while speaking from a window in St. Peter's Square.

To be fair, this was a verbal stumble we're talking about, not a hot-mic mishap. Still, as harmless as it was, it was nonetheless plenty entertaining. The pope, who is a native Spanish speaker, meant to say "caso," which is Italian for "example" or "case." Instead, he said "cazzo," which depending on which Italian-to-English dictionary you use translates either to some variation of "prick" or your more classic F-bomb. Or, as my colleague Andrew McCarthy aptly put it in an email, cazzo is more or less the "Swiss army knife of Italian curses." (On a related note, McCarthy would like his parents to know that his semester abroad back in college wasn't actually a complete waste.)


Here's a translation of Francis' verbal miscue and quick correction: "If each one of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this [insert your expletive of choice here] ... in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity."

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This post has been updated.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



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