For a brief session at the Vatican
This story has been updated to reflect comment from Google.
Pope Francis may not use a computer, but he’s still the most tech-friendly pontiff the world has seen. So it makes sense that he’d be interested in having a discussion with one of the highest-ranking executives in the tech industry.
The Pope is reportedly set to meet with Eric Schmidt, the former Google GOOG CEO who now serves as executive chairman of holding company Alphabet, at the Vatican on Friday, the Guardian reports. The meeting is supposed to last for just 15 minutes and could also include Jared Cohen, the former U.S. State Department official who now heads Google Ideas.
A Google representative declined to comment on the report.
While Pope Francis may not make much use of computers, he has called the Internet “a gift from God” for its ability to advance human communication, and he is also very popular on social media, with regular posts coming from an official Twitter account that has more than 8 million followers.
But the Pope has also decried the “mental pollution” he attributes to people wasting too much time online, and he’s also warned against some of the more unsavory Internet material out there. Perhaps tomorrow’s meeting with Schmidt will give the pontiff a chance to work out some of his mixed feelings toward the Web.