Well, this is hawkward: Guardian falls prey to Vatican April Fool's Day story

Axegrinder confesses he has – briefly, at least – bought in to one or two newspaper April Fool's Day stories over the years.

While The Sun’s exclusive on the Queen allowing fracking to take place in her garden didn’t fool him for a second, the Daily Mail’s story on what the Union Jack would look like if Scotland voted for independence seemed more plausible.

So spare a thought for The Guardian, which today issued a clarification on its online story claiming the Vatican had hired a hawk to protect the Pope’s doves.

To be fair to the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, its story was copy from Agence France-Presse, which is thought to have picked the story up from the Independent Catholic News.

The ICN’s founder Josephine Siedlecka told the Catholic Herald this had been its most successful April Fool's Day story, but that she was “astonished people fell for it”. She added: “I thought it was too obvious.”

Here is The Guardian’s clarification: “An agency story about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the pope's doves after two were killed by a crow and a seagull was deleted from our website because it was discovered to have been an April fools' joke (Vatican hires hawk to protect pope's doves, 9 April, theguardian.com).”

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