The Pope Instagram account was seen liking a scantily-clad bikini model’s photo which shows her in suspenders while appearing to put books into a school locker.
Natalia Garibotto, who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram, posted the shot of her wearing a barely-there red tartan skirt and a white crop top to the social media site.
But one of the Brazilian model’s legions of fans spotted a “like” from an unusual source.
The screengrab appears to show the Pontiff’s official Instagram account @franciscus liking the image – although it is not clear if this is a fake account.
It is not clear if the post was quickly un-liked by the official Pope’s account over the mistake or if the allegedly captured like is real.
Barstool Sports reports she said “at least I’m going to heaven” after the screenshot was shared.
Others were less than impressed, demanding the papal account remove the like.
While some approved of the apparent interaction with the model, with one tweeting “now that’s my kind of Pope”.
Last month the Pope endorsed same-sex civil unions in a historic shift for the Roman Catholic church.
He said homosexual people are “children of God and have a right to be in a family”.
Speaking in the film Francesco by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky he said: “What we have to create is a civil union law.
“That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
And earlier in the year he warned his Catholic followers that gossiping is a plague “worse than coronavirus.”