Though he prefers to use pencil and paper, the pope emeritus is fascinated by high-tech tools.
Retired Pope Benedict’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, told reporters yesterday that the pope shows great interest in the archbishop’s iPad.
“When I show him something on the iPad, and I’m making the
information slide by on the screen with my fingers, these new
technologies pique his interest from time to time,” he said.
The 57-year-old archbishop said the retired pope “doesn’t think these things are ruled out for an elderly person” like himself.
In fact, some may remember, Pope Benedict became the first pope in history to own an iPod when Vatican Radio staff gave him a 2-gigabyte white nano in 2006.
When the head of the radio’s technical and computer services
department identified himself and handed the pope the boxed iPod, the
pope was said to have replied, “Computer technology is the future.”
It’s doubtful he’s ever used the iPod, even though it was loaded with works by his favorite composers, like Mozart.
He never used the laptop he got as a gift just a few days after he broke his right wrist in 2009, preferring to use a voice recorder instead to put down his thoughts and ideas.
But he tapped away with no problems when presented with a tablet
launching the very first @Pontifex Twitter accounts and tweets almost
exactly one year ago today, and when he inaugurated the Vatican’s online
news portal, news.va in 2011.
He also lit the world’s largest electronic Christmas “tree” from a Sony S Tablet two years ago from his papal apartment.
Though he isn’t immersed in the digital world, Pope Benedict repeatedly endorsed it as the new frontier for evangelization.
Pope Francis, too, is no digital native.
As most people know, he prefers phonecalls and letters to IM and email.
Though he launched the Pontifical Mission Societies’ Missio App in May, he, like his predecessor, needed close coaching to figure out what to press on the iPad’s smooth button-less screen.
When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he once said that he would try to start using the Internet when he retired.
Obviously a plan that now may be delayed.