Pope meets YouTube vlogging stars in Rome

Pope Francis and the YouTube vloggers in RomeMatthew Patrick/YouTube official blog

Pope Francis has admitted he is a bit of a personal disaster when it comes to the world of online communication, but he knows how to win over the world's top YouTube vloggers.

The Pope entertained 11 of the best-known YouTube stars in Rome, including the UK's "sprinkle of glitter" Louise Pentland.

And while Pope Francis might not be ready to vlog on his own channel just yet, he has already set up an "Ask Pope Francis" website where he is inviting questions members of the public, with answers to be published in a book. 

YouTube's official blog reports that building bridges can start with a simple conversation, and over the past 11 years, creators from around the world have used the platform to express themselves, encourage new perspectives and inspire solidarity within global fan bases.

"We want to continue empowering people to come to YouTube to tell stories and form connections that encourage empathy and understanding between diverse communities," YouTube said.

"That's why today 11 international YouTube creators met with Pope Francis, who cares deeply about bringing young people together. This first-of-its-kind dialogue took place during the VI Scholas World Congress, which the Pope created to encourage peace through real encounters with youth from different backgrounds."

The YouTube creators, with more than 27 million subscribers globally between them, were from 10 different countries: Louise Pentland (UK), Lucas Castel (Argentina), Matemática Río (Brazil), Hayla Ghazal (United Arab Emirates), Dulce Candy (US), Matthew Patrick (US), Jamie and Nikki (Australia and Sudan/Egypt), Greta Menchi (Italy), Los Polinesios (Mexico) and anna RF (Israel).

During their hour-long conversation with the Pope, they talked about immigration, gender equality, loneliness and self-esteem and greater respect for diversity.

YouTube said: "We're inspired by the many conversations these creators have sparked throughout their YouTube journeys. To hear more about what they discussed at the Vatican today, tune in to each of their channels for personal videos in the coming weeks. We hope to continue helping people share their stories – the more we can all understand, the more we can come together as a global community."

The YouTubers then joined the Pope at the Scholas conference in the Synod hall in the Vatican. Scholas is a programme based in Argentina set up and promoted personally by Pope Francis.

Scholas works with young people aged between 15 and 18 from all over the world and of all faiths, not just Christian. The annual three-day conference in Rome is to enable young people analyse the problems facing their separate nations, give testimony through art, and facilitate interaction through the latest digital technologies. The object is to work for peace and integration. This year's was the first one attended by the YouTubers.

Hollywood stars at the conference included the actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney, the actress Salma Hayek and the actor Richard Gere.

Pentland posted on Instagram:

Another of the vloggers, Matthew Patrick, from the US, tweeted: 

Scholas tweeted:

Pope Francis told the vloggers: "I am delighted with the work that you do." He praised Pentland's beauty blogging in particular, thanked them all for their work and for helping younger people get a sense of belonging via the virtual video networks.