According to Catholic News Agency, officials of the Vatican have commenced an internal probe into the controversial matter.

The Pope made news headlines in the past few days after it emerged that his official Instagram account was one of the 143,000 fans who had liked bikini-wearing model Natalia Garibotto’s raunchy photo on November 13.

A viral screenshot shows the account @francisus account liking the picture of Natalia Garibotto dressed in a revealing outfit which some people have suggested is unbecoming of the pope.

The 27-year-old Miss Garibotto could be seen dressed in a short tartan skirt while packing books into a locker.

For no other than the pope to like your post on social media, that must be a huge endorsement. Miss Garibotto could not hide her excitement as she took to Twitter to jokingly say she was on her “way to the Vatican”.

READ ALSO: Keep enough condoms on you wherever you go for emergency sake – AIDS commission advises men

“Brb on my way to the Vatican. At least I’m going to heaven.

“If Pope Francis wanted the site, so should you,” Natalia Garibotto wrote on Twitter.

She is also quoted as saying to Barstool Sports: “My mum may hate my ass pics but the Pope be double-tapping.”

Meanwhile, some social media users have been poking fun at the pope, saying: “Now that's my kind of Pope.”

“My man’s just admiring God’s creation leave him alone,” one Colin Little said jokingly.

Pope Francis' official Instagram account likes racy photo of bikini-wearing model
Pope Francis' official Instagram account likes racy photo of bikini-wearing model
Pope Francis' official Instagram account likes racy photo of bikini-wearing model
Pope Francis' official Instagram account likes racy photo of bikini-wearing model

Interestingly, the controversial like is no longer on the account and people have been wondering if it was just a simple mistake or Pope Francis consciously endorsed Miss Garibotto dressing.

The young woman who has more than two million followers on Instagram and a private members website posted the picture in question on October 5 with the caption: “I can teach you a thing or two. Can’t wait for you guys to see my October shoot on my site.”

Well, following the brouhaha, a probe has been initiated into the development. In a statement, the Catholic News Agency said: “The picture “liked” by Pope Francis’ verified account, Franciscus, features Brazilian model and Twitch streamer Natalia Garibotto wearing a lingerie outfit that resembles a school uniform. Garibotto’s mostly-uncovered posterior is visible in the picture. The exact time of the “like” is unclear, but it was visible and reported by news outlets on November 13.

“The photograph was unliked on November 14, after CNA asked the Holy See Press Office for comment. An official for the Holy See Press Office declined to comment on the event.”

Reports say sources close to the Vatican leadership have confirmed that an internal probe is underway to determine how the “like” happened.