Pope and Facebook founder – communication technologies could alleviate poverty and encourage hope

Facebook and similar communications’ technologies could be used to alleviate poverty, encourage the culture of encounter and bring a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged.

This week’s meeting at the Vatican between Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of social networking giant Facebook, looked at ways to achieve this.

The meeting is the latest in a string of visits from other major tech-heads this year.

According to a communique on 29 August from the Vatican, Francis and Zuckerberg, who was accompanied by his wife Priscilla Chan, “spoke of how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage the culture of encounter and bring a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged.”

The theme of poverty and bringing a message of hope to the poor and marginalized is something Francis has spoken about ceaselessly since his election, barely stopping to take a breath in the past three years.

Though he has publicly admitted in interviews to not owning a cell phone or using the computer, it seems that Pope Francis sees the value of the digital age, specifically in terms of the benefits new technologies can bring to evangelization and promoting human dignity.

His meeting with Zuckerberg and Chan marks the fourth time he has met with a major tech head this year.

On 15 January he welcomed Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, for a private meeting at the Vatican.

A week later, he granted another private audience to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Pope has also made an effort to engage with big name celebrities who share topics of interest such as Leonardo DiCaprio, with whom he met on 28 January in an encounter that focused on issues related to climate change and the environment.

He has also started to make waves on social media, opening a Twitter account in 2012 and launching his own Instagram on 19 March.

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News category: World.

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