A cartoon in a Methodist church magazine last year, captioned “What Would Jesus Do,” shows Christ standing next to man taking a picture of the pair, holding a cell phone on a selfie stick.
You don’t need a cartoon showing Pope Francis posing for a selfie. Hundreds have already gone viral during his trip to Ecuador and not only does he not seem to mind, he seems eager to get in the picture.
“I couldn’t believe it,” says Angel Delgado who took a selfie with the Pope as Francis left Monday’s mass in Guayaquil. “The security people didn’t like it but the Pope told them it was okay.”
Francis picked up the title of the “Selfie Pope” in 2013 when he was pictured several times with teenagers from Milan.
“He realizes that this is the technology of the day and he enjoys it,” said Vatican communications consultant Georgio Lenz. “He believes that it is his mission to reach the people in the most effective manner available and that involves the latest technology.”
When Francis visited the Philippines in January, the Catholic church created a free smartphone application, available on both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems, that allowed users to send prayer requests to the pope, share photos and listen to music. The app was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.