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Vatican probing how pope ‘liked’ Brazilian bikini model

Officials say ‘like’ by Pope Francis’ official Instagram account of Natalia Garibotto’s scantily clad picture didn’t originate from the Holy See

Pope Francis salutes the faithful from his studio's window as he recites the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis salutes the faithful from his studio's window as he recites the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME — The Vatican is investigating how Pope Francis’ official Instagram account “liked” a photo of a scantily-clad Brazilian model.

A Vatican official said Friday the “like” didn’t originate from the Holy See, and as such, the Vatican was working “in close connection” with Instagram to get to the bottom of who liked the photo.

Francis’ official Instagram account, “franciscus,” has 7.4 million followers, but doesn’t follow anyone. Earlier this month, “franciscus” was shown as having “liked” a photo of Natalia Garibotto, a Brazilian model whose Instagram account features dozens of photos of her in thong bikinis and provocative poses.

In the photo liked by “franciscus,” she is dressed as an apparent schoolgirl, wearing a short tartan miniskirt and white garter stockings leaning up against a school locker.

Francis has a robust social media presence, with his Twitter account “Pontifex” tweeting out daily prayers in a variety of languages.

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