30 May 2016
Yet another reason has been added to the many reasons why the world loves Pope Francis – he is tech savvy.
This has been known since the start of 2016 when the Pope welcomed the former Chief Executive of Google, Eric Schmidt, to the heart of the Catholic Church.
During a meeting with 12 YouTube stars On Sunday, he again showed off his digital credentials.
In showing that he supported popular beauty videos, he encouraged his celebrity guests to help young people create virtual identities.
The YouTube stars invited by the Pope included Louise Pentland, a British video maker behind the Sprinkle of Glitter channel. The Pope praised her for her fashion and beauty clips.
Others included Hayla Ghazal, whose comedy clips from Dubai are aimed at changing the attitude to women in the Middle East, and Dulce Candy, a Mexican-American who crossed the U.S. border illegally as a young child.
They were invited to the Vatican from six continents.
At the meeting, the Pope said: “I am glad that you carry out the type of work you said. Following the line of beauty, it’s a great thing. To preach beauty and show beauty helps neutralise aggression”
The pontiff, however, advised the video bloggers to help those of their followers who feel lost. “You can create a virtual identity; you belong to this circle at least virtually. From that you can start taking a path of optimism and hope,” he advised.
Even with the Vatican’s enthusiasm for social media and technology, Pope Francis has described himself as a tech dinosaur.
Though he warned Catholics against putting their smartphones before real relationships, he praised the internet as being a “gift from God” and a force for good.