Pope Francis has never been on the Internet in his life. But he has nine @Pontifex Twitter accounts and more than 20 million followers.
“Communications is paramount with him,” says journalist Robert Draper, who wrote the August National Geographic cover story about how Francis is changing the Vatican. “It’s not just that he’s resigned to the fact that this is the way, in particular, young people communicate, he embraces it.”
The pope, since his election in March 2013, has become one of the world’s most intriguing figures, delighting and discomfiting a worldwide audience. National Geographic was granted exclusive access to photograph him at the Vatican, leading to the cover story and a new book, “Pope Francis and the New Vatican.”
The images in the video are some of 67,000 that photographer Dave Yoder took while on assignment. Yoder, a National Geographic veteran, spent six months at the Vatican, capturing revealing images that show the daily life of the pontiff and the Vatican.
Draper says that there's a lot more to the seemingly spontaneous and plain-speaking pope than meets the eye. The writer spent a month in Rome and three weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, interviewing Francis’s associates and papal observers.
Follow Robert Draper on Twitter.