Google's Eric Schmidt to Have Private Meeting With Pope Francis - NBC Bay Area

Google's Eric Schmidt to Have Private Meeting With Pope Francis

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    In this file photo, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt smiles outside of Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011.

    Pope Francis has both praised the internet for being a "gift from God" and criticised technology — and particularly social media — for being alienating and a source of "mental pollution".

    On Friday, the 79-year-old Argentine pontiff will have a chance to reconcile those two statements as he meets Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, the new holding company for Google, for a brief meeting at the Vatican, the Financial Times reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

    Pope Francis — an ardent critic of unfettered free markets — has rarely granted private audiences to global business leaders since being elected to the helm of the Catholic Church in 2013.