Oh, the irony.
Pope Francis admitted he is a technological “dinosaur” and doesn’t understand how to work a computer — all while hosting a digital Google Hangout with seven children from around the world on Thursday morning.
The pontiff participated in his second “Hangout” with children from the United States, Argentina, India, and Spain who have disabilities, and heard about their dreams for the future. Alicia, 16, who displayed her video camera, asked the pope if he enjoys taking pictures and downloading the images on his computer.
“Do you want me to tell you the truth?” Francis joked. “I am old-fashioned when it comes to computers. I’m a dinosaur. I don’t know how to work a computer. What a pity, huh? What a shame.” He spoke in Spanish, but subtitles were provided through the YouTube channel.
Bauti, 14, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, explained how he uses both his computer and tablet in school. He also mentioned that he hopes to visit Francis at the Vatican someday. “So you like the tablet? Is it difficult?” the pope asked, adding with a laugh that he doesn’t own the device.
Isabel, a 13-year-old student in Spain who hopes to be a writer, told the pope about how she uses a computer that has a Braille reader. The message she asked the Catholic leader to share with the world was: “People with disabilities don’t give up.”
The pope even bonded with 12-year-old Paolo about their mutual love of soccer.
“All of you have a box, like a treasure chest with a treasure inside. And the word for you is to open up the chest, take out the treasure, make it grow and give it to others and receive from others the treasures that other people have,” the pope told the kids before signing off the video chat.
The pope, who has embraced social media, last month called the Internet “something truly good, a gift from God.” He hosted his first digital hangout in September. Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, also embraced social media by creating the papal Twitter account, launching a Vatican YouTube channel, and releasing a Facebook application called Pope2You.
When the current leader succeeded Benedict XVI in March 2013, he promised to change the ways the Vatican conducts business. TIME magazine named him “Person of the Year” in 2013.