Pope Francis
Pope Francis addressing the faithful before his slip of the tongue. Photo by AFP
Text size
related tags

With millions of people hanging on his every word, it was a slip-up Pope Francis would really have preferred not making. While giving his weekly blessing from the Vatican on Sunday, the Argentine-born pontiff mistakenly uttered the word "fuck" in Italian before quickly correcting himself,  the Daily Mail reported.

But within seconds his mistake was posted on dozens of Italian media websites and YouTube and had gained millions of worldwide hits as it went viral.

The words the Pope stumbled on were "caso" (example) and "cazzo," which means "fuck" in Italian and often trips up those not used to speaking the language.

In his sermon, the 77-year-old Pope had been urging a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Ukraine.

Speaking from the window of his apartment at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, he said: "It is my wish that all the components of the country will endeavor to overcome misunderstandings and build together the future of the nation.

"I make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to support every initiative on behalf of dialogue and harmony. A heart full of longing for possession is a heart empty of God.

"For this, Jesus many times chastised the rich because the risk for them to seek security in the wealth of this world is high.

"In this fuck … in this case, the providence of God is made visible as gesture of solidarity."

On the Internet, the slip-up generated hundreds of comments with many explaining that it was a common mistake made by Spanish speakers and others said it underlined their impression of him as a 'man of the people.'

A Vatican spokesman declined to comment on the slip-up.