Pope Francis will join the photo-sharing website Instagram on Saturday, according to the prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications.
Mg Dario Vigano told Vatican Radio yesterday that the Pope will make his Instagram debut on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph – the same day on which he will sign his post-synodal document on the family. He will join around 400 million other users.
Last month the Pope met Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, who founded the social networking site in 2010.
Systrom posted a photo of the meeting on his Instagram profile, describing it as “by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life”. He said they spoke about “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages”.
Pope Francis, who has almost nine million Twitter followers, has shown an increasing interest in the tech world. In 2016 he has also met Eric Schmidt of Google and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
“Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.”
The Pope described the digital world as “a public square, a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks”.
He said that technology could be used for good as well as bad purposes. “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal,” he said. Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarisation and division between individuals and groups.”
Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift have the biggest following on Instagram, with 69 million followers each.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund