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Atheist Mark Zuckerberg Moved by 'Warmth, Kindness, Mercy' of Pope Francis

( [email protected] ) Aug 31, 2016 09:58 AM EDT
While he identifies as an atheist, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg couldn't help but be impressed by the "warmth, kindness, mercy, and tenderness" of Pope Francis.
The Pope welcomed Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to the Vatican on Monday Facebook

While he identifies as an atheist, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg couldn't help but be impressed by the "warmth, kindness, mercy, and tenderness" of Pope Francis.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, met with the Roman Catholic leader at the Vatican, and later took to social media to shared their admiration for the pontiff's ability to connect with people of different faiths while remaining true to his own.

"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."

Vatican spokesperson, Greg Burke, said that one of the topics they discussed 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."

The 32-year-old billionaire has in the past described himself as an atheist and has never wavered from that position, even listing his beliefs on his Facebook page. However, the social media guru was raised in New York in a Jewish family, even having a Bar Mitzvah.

According to CNN, Zuckerberg announced his trip to Italy last week after the country was struck by a devastating earthquake.

Despite their different religious views, Zuckerberg has praised Francis on previous occasions as well.

"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 back in March.

The Mirror notes that Francis is a regular tweeter, with nearly 10 million followers, and also signed up to Instagram earlier this year.

Earlier this year, the religious leader had separate meetings with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who helped the pontiff join the photo sharing service, according to NBC.

Tags : Mark Zuckerberg, Pope Francis, Facebook, social media, drone, atheism, atheist, Catholic, Catholic Church