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Pope Francis Commits Cardinal Sin With ‘Middle Finger’ Tweet

The pontiff deleted and reposted the message, part of a thread drawing spiritual significance to each finger

Pope Francis’ Twitter fingers or, more than likely, a Vatican social media staffer’s, got the head of the Catholic Church in a full-on, hilarious social media kerfuffle on Thursday.

The idea behind the Pope’s Twitter thread was benign and even holy – to describe that God has placed the “the gift of life in your hands.” It proceeded to metaphorically describe each digit. 

But, then, the missive went left as the tweet writer reached the middle finger.

 “The middle finger, which is higher than the others, reminds us of something essential: honesty. To be honest means not getting entangled in the snares of corruption,” the Pontiff (or, to be fair, his social media staffer) tweeted.

The tweet was deleted and replaced with a reference to “the third finger” but not before the initial tweet was screenshot and spread virally.

Twitter users’ reaction to the obvious faux pas was swift and hilarious – given what “giving the middle finger” represents in many cultures, especially in urban areas such as Los Angeles where “flipping the bird” during road rage is essentially an embedded custom.

Check out some of the more sardonic reactions below.