Pope Francis was fingered as the source of much Twitter mockery on Thursday after he posted a now-deleted tweet extolling the virtues of “the middle finger.”
The tweet was part of a series posted by the pontiff that suggested five “ingredients for the future,” with each corresponding to a finger on the hand.
For instance, Francis said the thumb is “closest to our heart” and “symbolizes prayer, while the index finger corresponds to “community” since that digit is used to “point things out to others.”
But what he said about the middle finger got Twitter users all bird-brained. Francis explained the middle finger is “higher than the others” and “reminds us of something essential: Honesty. To be honest means not getting entangled in the snares of corruption.”
Francis probably didn’t intend to invoke the vulgar meaning of the middle finger since he deleted the tweet below and later posted an altered version that referred to the “third finger.” But, unfortunately, that tweet was also deleted.
It should be noted that numerous studies suggest that people who curse are typically more honest than their clean-speech counterparts, so maybe the pope was onto something.
The first original tweet remains up, but the different virtues of each finger seem to have been deleted after Twitter snarks commented on the particular virtues of the middle finger.
Others joined in.