Apple CEO Tim Cook meets ‘mobile phone critic’ Pope Francis in Vatican

By Tasso Konia
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Pope Francis has often urged people to limit their usage of mobile phones. According to a BBC report, in 2019, he asked people to put their phones away at the dinner table and start talking. He has often advised people not to become slaves to their smartphones.

On Monday, the 85-year-old Pope met with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, the technology giant that makes iPhones. According to Reuters, the Vatican did not disclose what occurred during the one-on-one meeting between the Pope and the CEO of the $2.4 trillion tech behemoth.

In 2016, Cook met the Pope at the Vatican during a 15-minute interaction. The meeting had taken place a week after the Pope had met Google's parent Alphabet's executive Eric Schmidt, CNN had reported.

Pope Francis meets with Apple chief Tim Cook during a private audience at the Vatican.

Pope Francis meets with Apple chief Tim Cook during a private audience at the Vatican.

Although Pope Francis patiently allows people to take selfies with him, he has a mixed relationship with cell phones. Last year, he interrupted his general audience when an aide passed him a cell phone and took an urgent call from a senior Vatican official.

"Free yourself from the addiction to mobile phones," he told young people in 2019. "When you become a slave to your mobile phone, you lose your freedom."

“We have to get back to communicate with our families”, he had added.

On other occasions, he has said it was sad that people use their cellphone at the dinner table or while attending Mass.

In 2017, he chastised the Catholics for using mobile phones during Mass. Pope Francis had said the priest during the mass tells people to lift up their hearts. “He does not say, Lift up your cell phones to take pictures”, the New York Times had quoted the Pope.

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