The Vatican is examining how a bikini model on Instagram could have got a “like” from the official Pope sender. In the past few days, several media had reported that a photo of the scantily clad 27-year-old Natalia Garibotto on Instagram had received a “like” from Francis’ account. The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that it was still visible until last Friday, but was removed afterwards.
According to the Vatican’s press office, “the matter” is being investigated in close cooperation with the responsible bodies at Instagram. “As far as we know, the” like “does not come from the Holy See,” wrote the Vatican. “The Holy See reached out to Instagram for an explanation,” one said Spokesman for the British newspaper “Guardian”.
Garibotto used the media reports about the Vatican like meanwhile for self-promotion. Her management published an Instagram photo showing her in lingerie in school girl look and wrote that she had received the official blessing of the Pope. According to the Guardian, the picture is a new upload of the picture that the Pope account is said to have liked.
“At least I’m going to heaven,” Garibotto commented on Twitter. The model is followed by around 2.4 million people on Instagram.
The 83-year-old Francis’ Instagram account was opened in 2016 and has around 7.4 million subscribers. When the Pope’s offer started, the Vatican had explained that the account would not be managed by the Catholic head of the church himself, but by social media people from the Vatican. However, Francis is considered open to new communication media.