Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of social media giant Facebook and his wife, Priscilla Chan, met with Roman Catholic leader Pope Francis at the Vatican, and later shared their admiration for the pontiff’s “mercy and tenderness” and the way he has connected with people of different faiths.
“Priscilla and I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican.
We told him how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness, and how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world,” Zuckerberg wrote in a
Facebook message on Monday.
“We also discussed the importance of connecting people, especially in parts of the world without internet access.
We gave him a model of Aquila, our solar-powered aircraft that will beam internet connectivity to places that don’t have it. And we shared our work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help people around the world,” he added.
“It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people.”
As The Atlantic pointed out, Zuckerberg was raised in a Jewish home but identifies as an atheist, though he has also found interest in Buddhism.
Holy See Press Office director Greg Burke said the pope and Zuckerberg discussed new ways that communications technology can help poor people.
“Together they spoke about how to use communications technology to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and to communicate a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged,” the statement read.
Zuckerberg has praised Francis on previous occasions as well, and in March welcomed the Vatican leader to his newly opened Instagram account.
“No matter what faith you practice, we can all be inspired by Pope Francis’ humility and compassion.
I’m looking forward to following the pope — and watching him continue sharing his message of mercy, equality and justice with the world,” Zuckerberg wrote at the time.
Francis has met with a number of technology leaders in recent years, including Apple’s CEO Tim Cooke and Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, the National Catholic Register reported
The Facebook CEO made big news in December when he announced that he is giving away 99 percent of his stock.
Zuckerberg made the announcement in a letter from he and his wife to their newly born baby girl, named Max.
“For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do,” the parents wrote in the letter. “Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges.”
They said that the 99 percent of Facebook shares is worth about $45 billion, which will go into programs based on “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”
“We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others,” Zuckerberg and Chan added.
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