Does Pope Francis Use Email?

Pope Francis Delivers 'Urbi Et Orbi' Blessing During Easter Mass In St. Peter's Square
Pope Francis Delivers 'Urbi Et Orbi' Blessing During Easter Mass In St. Peter's Square. Giulio Origlia / Getty Images

Although His Holiness Pope Francis might have a private or official email address, he does not have a publicly listed email address. Those who wish to contact him by modern means aren't relegated to snail mail, however; he does have an active Twitter feed under the handle @Pontifex.

For contacting Pope Francis by traditional mail, the Vatican provides this address:

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Note: Don't add "Italy" to the address; the Vatican is a separate political entity from Italy.

Despite his lack of email accessibility, Pope Francis sees modern communication options as beneficial. When Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, visited the Vatican in January 2016, Pope Francis released a message titled Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter, for the 50th World Day of Social Communications. In it, he said that the internet, text messages, and social networks are "gifts from God."

Other Popes in the Information Age

Unlike their current successor, both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II had email addresses: benedictxvi@vatican.va  and  john_paul_ii@vatican.va,  respectively. Both might have had other private email addresses inside the Vatican, as well.

Karol Józef Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II in 1978, long before email was used widely and practically. The very first email had been written seven years previous to his ascendancy, but few people outside the computer programming field knew computer networks existed at all. Yet, John Paul II went on to become the first email-savvy pontiff in history.

In late 2001, the pope apologized for injustices committed by the Roman Catholic Church in Oceania via email. The Holy Father would have preferred to visit the Pacific nations and deliver his words of penitence in person, but email made for an effective second-best choice.