“The Holy Father unexpectedly passed away this afternoon. We announce this with grief and consternation.”
The Vatican immediately denied the reported twitter message announcing the death of Pope Benedict XVI. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi dismissed the message as “baseless” and “unworthy of attention".
The fake tweet was in Italian and said to be tweeted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state and the number 2 at the Vatican at around 7:00pm. It was followed by similar tweets in Spanish, English and French.
In April, the Pope will turn 85.