Pope tempted by Python! Signs off on coding scheme for kids

In the name of the firewall, the server, and the home page default, amen

The Pope has given his blessing to a free online learning portal aimed at encouraging children to take up software development, while he administers the spiritual kind.

The so-called "Code with Pope" initiative is an online software training tool designed to help kids between 11-15 learn the basics of Python. The 60-hour course teach the basic ground rules of coding on the platform and the children then get a certificate and information on where to learn more skills.

It's the brainchild of Miron Mironiuk, a Polish AI ad biz owner who wants to develop skills in the developing world. The platform runs in Spanish, English, Italian and Polish and Mironiuk said the papal approval could help convince kids to give it a try.

"We believe that the involvement of the Pope will help to convince them to spend some time and use this opportunity to learn programming for free," Mr Mironiuk explained to the BBC.

The current ruler of the Holy See has been more willing than his predecessors to engage with technology. His predecessor, Benedict XVI, started an apparently infallible @pontifex Twitter account in 2012 but Francis then moved onto Instagram four years later as "franciscus" and now has over nine million followers in that digital world.

In 2019 he gave his consent to the "Click to Pray" app, whereby the faithful could post their prayers and see what other people were asking for too. He's met the heads of Apple and Microsoft and has also issued warnings about the dangers of AI and reminded the faithful to log off for Lent.

Mironiuk will now travel to the Vatican to meet with His Holiness to discuss the training scheme and how it can be rolled out. Mironiuk, himself a Catholic, might be kissing the Pope's ring - although Francis apparently isn't keen on the practice - and isn't expecting the Bishop of Rome to start hitting the keyboard any time soon.

"I don't expect him to know Python very well, at least," Mironiuk said. "But he will get a certificate for his efforts in helping start the programme." ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like