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Offline: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg chats with Pope Francis

Pope Francis meets Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, second from left, and his wife Priscilla Chan, at the Santa Marta residence, the guest house in Vatican City where the pope lives, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says a topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting was “how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and make a message of hope arrive, especially to those most in need.’’ (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)


The Pope didn’t need to log in to his Facebook account.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, together with his wife, Priscilla Chan, met with Pope Francis in his home in Vatican City.

“It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people,” Zuckerberg told his followers on Facebook.

“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,” he said.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says one topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting was “how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and make a message of hope arrive, especially to those most in need.”

Francis received a drone model from the “honored” couple, and was told of the couple’s works at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative which was launched in December 2015.

Aquila, a solar-powered aircraft that will beam internet connectivity to places with no internet connection, is part of Facebook’s efforts to bridge the digital divide.

“We also discussed the importance of connecting people, especially in parts of the world without internet access,” he said.

The social networking giant runs Free Basics, a platform for delivering basic information and services to developing economies like the Philippines.

The meeting with the pontiff was part of Zuckerberg and Chan’s tour of the quake-struck Italy.

The atmosphere appeared informal, with the chat taking place in the Santa Marta residence, the guest house in Vatican City where the Pope lives.

Zuckerberg ditched his regular gray shirt and suited up for the occasion.

The couple also met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and appeared in a Q&A session in Rome, which was streamed on Facebook Live. With a report from the Associated Press

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