Did the Pope Declare Fornication Is No Longer a Sin?

"What were we even thinking?" the Patriarch of the West asked rhetorically.

  • Published 13 March 2015


Pope Francis has declared that fornication is no longer a sin.


Labeled Satire
About this rating


On 4 March 2015, the web site The Late O’clock News published an article titled “Pope declares fornication no longer a sin.” The article posited that Pope Francis had declared sexual acts once relegated to the area of sinfulness to be no longer forbidden by the church, and it included quotes attributed to the pope regarding the reclassification of sexual acts that were formerly considered sins:

Just when you thought he couldn’t get any cooler, the Holy Father announced today at his Wednesday General Audience that, last night, he had his first wet dream in 65 years and it was life-changing. In fact, the wet dream was so glorious that he has used his divine authority as Pope to declare that fornication is no longer a sin.

“What were we even thinking?” the Patriarch of the West asked rhetorically to the audience, all of whom were crying tears of joy, washing away all their years of Catholic guilt. “I’ve sat in that hot wooden box for years, heard you all confess the same sins over and over. Masturbation, fornication, adultery and lesbian porn! Now I know what the fuss was all about!”

While Pope Francis has espoused some surprisingly progressive ideas, the article and its quotes were wholly fabricated. A disclaimer on the Late O’clock News web site explains that:

The Late O’clock News is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within thelateoclocknews.com are fiction, and presumably fake news.

Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes