Pope Francis writes his first line of code

Eighty-two years old Pope Francis has become the first Pope of the Vatican City State to write a line of code. In Vatican City, Pope Francis with three young women aged between 11-16 years, contributed a line of code to an app aimed at promoting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Pope Francis wrote the last line of code.

After seeing to it that UK Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all received (widely-publicized) coding lessons, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi noted in late 2016 that he was “still working on Pope Francis” Partovi was able to cross that one off his bucket list on March 22, as he helped Pope Francis becomes the first Pope to write a line of code “Programming for Peace” event organized by the Pope’s foundation, Scholas Occurrentes, in Vatican City.

“In the 21st century, computer science is a fundamental subject that all students should learn” said Partovi, whose tech-bankrolled nonprofit has entered a partnership with Scholastic to introduce children to computer science. “Schools should teach computer science to prepare students for the future, empower children with creativity and teach how to harness technology and creativity.” The Pontiff’s programming lesson comes a month after Partovi’s next-door neighbor, Microsoft President and Code.org Board member Brad Smith, had a sit-down with the Pope to discuss the ethical use of AI and ways to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor nations.

It’s safe to assume whatever the spiritual leader to 1.2 billion people dabbles in gets noticed, especially if it’s a first. Of course, Pope Francis is used to firsts. The 82-year-old pope is first to hail from the Jesuit religious order, first from outside Europe in over a millenia, first from Latin America, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere.

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