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Pope meets with Apple CEO

Fri 22 Jan 2016

Pope Francis and Apple logo

A photo of the Pope’s schedule for today included a morning meeting with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc. This follows Pope Francis’ meeting with Google CEO Eric Schmidt last week.

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church has been far more engaged in technological advancements and their relationship to the Catholic Church than previous leaders. He has a Twitter account (@Pontifex) and while he probably does not send his own tweets, he was photographed using an iPad which later sold for $30,500 at auction. As of December 2015, you can download a Pope App from the iTunes store to keep up with Vatican City news, or for the less reverent, a Pope emoji. He has hosted two Google hangouts to date.  The pope also referred to the internet as a ‘gift from God’ in a Vatican News statement released in June 2014. “(T)he networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances.  The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.  This is something truly good, a gift from God.”

As great a supporter of technology and social media as he has proven to be, the pope is a harsh critic of capitalism.  “I recognize that globalization has helped many people to rise from poverty, but it has condemned many others to hunger. It’s true that in absolute terms it grows world wealth, but it also increased the disparity and the new kinds of poverty.” This lends a different interest to the ongoing meetings with business leaders at the Vatican.

While the reason for the visit and topics for discussion are not known at this time, the Pope and Cook do share a love for the environment and ecology.  Or it could have something to do with the fact that Apple just agreed to pay a $346 million settlement in a tax fraud investigation in Italy. Italian newspaper La Republica claimed that Apple Italia owed over $800 million in taxes from 2008-2013, but paid only $30 million.


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