Factual error: In the scene where Vetra is taken to examine the body of the deceased pope, the corpse is exposed after the marble slab and the lid of the casket is removed. In reality, papal funerary protocol requires the body to be triple-sealed. It is first placed in a coffin of cypress wood (to symbolise humility), and is then hermetically sealed in a zinc coffin to slow down decomposition. Finally, the zinc coffin is then placed inside of an oak coffin before being interred beneath the marble slab.
Factual error: In the scenes in Piazza Navona where the fourth Bishop is nearly drowned in the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the fountain is easily approached by car and on foot without any barriers. The real fountain has a railing around it of stone posts connected by long, oval-shaped iron rings and bars.
Factual error: The College of Cardinals debate whether or not to allow Father McKenna into the papal election as a candidate via election by acclamation. That process of election was abolished by Pope John Paul II in 1996; the secret ballot method is the only legal means of electing a Pope.
Add timeCubs Fan
Factual error: It is stated by Langdon that after the Pope's death, but before the successor is chosen, that the Camerlengo would become the head of the Church. This is incorrect. The Camerlengo would become Vatican City's acting head of state, however, the Church's leadership would actually be the College of Cardinals.
Factual error: In the beginning of the movie, we saw the Ring of the Fisherman of the dead pope, inscribed with his name: "PIUS XVI". However, the inscription should be done in Latin style, which uses "V" instead of "U". Thus the correct inscription should read "PIVS XVI". The Latin style of writing is evident in the Ring of the Fisherman that is worn by the real, currently reigning pope, Benedict XVI, which is inscribed "BENEDICTVS XVI".
Add timeBernie Lu Huey
Factual error: The size of the chamber in the Vatican archives is roughly 15x10x5 meters. That's equivalent to 750,000 liters of air. Even if we divide it in half to account for the furniture and take off another 25% to account for under-pressurization, that still leaves 280,000 liters of air. Two men would consume a maximum of 20 liters per minute, if they were hyper-ventilating. That's 233 hours worth of air, or almost ten days. Langdon and the security guard were trapped there for less than twenty minutes in all.
Factual error: At 1:37:15 the message received on the laptop instructs the villain to find his final payment in the Volkswagen located "N/E corner Via Giulia." When he flees Langdon he does so on the Passetto which runs east toward the Vatican, and he scales off the wall a short time/distance later to find the car. Via Giulia is actually south and across the Tiber river from the Castel Sant'Angelo. The villian would never have reached Via Giulia going on the Passetto or in that amount of time.