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Pop Francis Accidentally Declared Dead

ITV news anchor Kylie Pentelow made the false announcement on Christmas Day Mass, at St. Peter’s Basilica (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
(Newser) –

Christmas came with a shock announcement for British television viewers when an anchor reported that Pope Francis had died.

It would have been a major holiday tragedy… had it been true. Luckily for the pontiff and his billion followers worldwide, it wasn’t. Per the Mirror, it all unfolded Saturday on Britain’s ITV, as anchor Kylie Pentelow was reading a report of the Catholic leader’s Christmas address at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City when she ended on a sad note.

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“He said that vaccines should be made available to those most in need,” she said. “His death was announced…” Per TMZ, Pentelow caught herself, apologized quickly, then moved on with other news.

Pope Francis, who recently turned 85, had delivered his Christmas message and blessing prior to the erroneous report.

The blessing followed the traditional Christmas Eve midnight mass held Friday before estimated 2,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica. (Read more Pope Francis stories.)

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