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Have a question for His Holiness? Ask it through his Facebook Messenger bot

missiobot pope francis
Philip Chidell /
This may be the closest you get to talking to God.

If you’re a Facebook user, head over to Messenger and check out what just might become your new favorite chatbot. Its name is Missiobot, it will connect you with the Pope (kind of), and it comes from Missio USA, an organization within The Pontifical Mission Societies. As per its website, the goal of the Societies is to promote a universal missionary spirit — a spirit of prayer and sacrifice — among all, and what better to promote something than through the largest social network in the world?

“MissioBot provides a one-to-one experience of information, engagement and accompaniment, that guides the user through a conversation with Pope Francis about the life-saving work of Catholic missionaries around the world,” the Botlist descriptor for the chat personality reads.

Effectively a chatbot for Pope Francis, Missiobot puts you in close “contact” with the holy leader himself. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s kind of funny. As Venturebeat points out, “the bot does serve up thumbs up shots of the pope and a GIF of him trying (and failing) to catch a baseball, followed by a self-deprecating joke.”

Of course, it’s an educational experience too. Missiobot will answer your questions, adopting the Pope’s manner of speaking, and supplementing stories with photos, videos, and even some audio. And you can learn about the many initiatives Missio USA has undertaken, many of them focused on children in underserved communities. At the end of your conversation with Missiobot, you will be encouraged by Pope Francis to help in one of these initiatives — you can donate $7, share the story, or add a Missio overlay to your default photo.

So if you’re looking for a new friend on Facebook, Pope Francis just may be your guy.

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