The Pope Francis Puffer Photo Was Real in Our Hearts

Pope Francis, the 86-year-old chief of the Catholic Church, is an unconventionally laidback dresser. He has habitually eschewed the sacred pink slippers and ermine trim of his predecessors. In 2017, Vatican tailors and cobblers who’d been dressing popes for generations informed the Catholic information website Crux that Francis’ understated model—his choice for what one may name “papal athleisure”—was throwing them for a loop.

So when a picture of Pope Francis wearing a Jet-Puffed, winter-white, ankle-length hooded down jacket went viral over the weekend, it was comprehensible that many individuals thought it was actual. A silver cross hung right down to his chest. The zucchetto perched atop his head may as nicely have been somewhat rolled-up beanie. Plus a puffy coat appears sensible; it may possibly get fairly wintry up there in Vatican Metropolis. And hey, it’s 2023 and Francis is, in any case, the Athleisure Pope. And popes, irrespective of how frugal, nonetheless reside within the gilded swag realm that’s Roman Catholicism.

The picture, after all, was very a lot not actual. It was created by a 31-year-old Chicago man named Pablo Xavier utilizing Midjourney, a man-made intelligence picture generator. Xavier informed Buzzfeed Information that he felt moved to jot down the Midjourney immediate for the picture whereas he was tripping on shrooms: “I attempt to do humorous stuff or trippy artwork—psychedelic stuff. It simply dawned on me: I ought to do the Pope. Then it was simply coming like water: ‘The Pope in Balenciaga puffy coat, Moncler, strolling the streets of Rome, Paris,’ stuff like that,” Xavier mentioned. Afterwards, he posted it on the Midjourney subreddit beneath the title “The Pope Drip.” 

“It’s simply benign sufficient to be plausibly actual,” the Reddit person supervegeta101 commented on the submit. “Catholic church is tremendous wealthy, he’s not as orthodox or outdated as different Pope’s [sic]… I may see Francis having mad drip.” 

Pope Francis carrying his precise winter coat in November 2022, throughout the Common Viewers in St. Peter’s Sq..

Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Photos

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