Mobile phone critic Pope Francis meets Apple chief Tim Cook

The 85-year-old pope has a mixed relationship with cellphones.

 Pope Francis holds talks with Apple chief Tim Cook during a private audience at the Vatican, October 3, 2022.  (photo credit: VATICAN MEDIA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Pope Francis holds talks with Apple chief Tim Cook during a private audience at the Vatican, October 3, 2022.
(photo credit: VATICAN MEDIA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Pope Francis, who has often said people should limit their use of cellphones and give preference to personal communication, granted a private audience on Monday to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook.

Cook, head of the $2.4 trillion company whose iPhone has revolutionized personal communication, was on the pope's daily audience list. As is customary, the Vatican did not disclose what was discussed during the private conversation.

The 85-year-old pope has a mixed relationship with cellphones. Last year, he interrupted his general audience when an aide passed him a cellphone and took an urgent call from a senior Vatican official.

He often patiently allows people to take selfies with him.

But he has also regularly warned people against becoming slaves to cellphones and other forms of technology.

 Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a selfie at the Apple Fifth Avenue store for the release of the Apple iPhone 14 range in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 16, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY) Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a selfie at the Apple Fifth Avenue store for the release of the Apple iPhone 14 range in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 16, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

"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."

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