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The pope is reportedly meeting with Alphabet's Eric Schmidt for 15 minutes

The pope is reportedly meeting with Alphabet's Eric Schmidt for 15 minutes

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Pope Francis will reportedly hold a 15-minute meeting with former Google CEO and — after Google's transition to Alphabet last year — current Alphabet executive chair Eric Schmidt. Citing anonymous sources and a tweet about the meeting, The Guardian reports that Schmidt will meet with the pope at the Vatican this Friday, along with Google Ideas director Jared Cohen. Meeting with an executive of a major American company is a rare action from the pope (or, at the very least, a rare one to hear about), and there are no details about what might be on the agenda.

Pope Francis wasn't the first pope to have an online presence — his predecessor, Benedict XVI, signed up for Twitter in 2012. But he's been outspoken in his praise for the internet, saying that it "offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God." (Granted, he's also cautioned against using smartphones during dinner.) In addition to networks like Twitter and Periscope, he's appeared in two Google Hangouts since becoming the pope in 2013.

On the other hand, Francis has also made blistering critiques of capitalism — which Schmidt has previously called on audiences to "celebrate" — as part of his condemnations of poverty and inequality. Given that he's praised "the spirit of enterprise" in the modern economy and called business "a noble vocation," though, Google's work may fall on either the "noble" or the "unbridled" side of the spectrum.