Pope Francis phones Roman Catholic faithful
VATICAN CITY — A word of warning to those who write personal notes to Pope Francis: He might just call you back.
Francis has charmed the Roman Catholic masses with his informal style, simplicity and sense of humor — and a handful of strangers have gotten the treatment up close, receiving papal phone calls out of the blue after writing him or suffering some personal tragedy.
After another random phone call from the pope this week, Italy's leading Corriere della Sera daily offered etiquette tips for the lucky recipients, proposing conversation starters and no-go areas on its front page on Friday.
Topping the list: Be ready, especially if the land line rings.
The 76-year-old Francis has a fondness for making calls the old-fashioned way, using land lines and placing the calls himself, often surprising recipients by simply announcing, “It's the pope.”
After his election in March, Francis reportedly called his newspaper stand in Buenos Aires to cancel his daily delivery and his shoemaker to tell him not to bother with papal red leather loafers but to keep making his regular black orthotics.
The receptionist at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome thought he got a crank call when Francis phoned two days after his election looking for the Jesuit superior.
Francis has since called an Italian man whose brother was killed and a Colombian woman who works in Rome to thank her for a book.
Beppe Severgnini, a noted humorist and Corriere columnist, advised people not to be worried about what to say.
“Just be natural,” Severgnini wrote. “If (Francis) wanted to get bored, he would have called a government minister.”
The recipient of this week's call, Stefano Cabizza, a 19-year-old student, was quoted by Corriere as saying that Francis had told him to refer to him with the informal “tu,” noting that “even Jesus and the apostles used the ‘tu.' ”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey
- Russian pilot rescued by Syrian commando unit
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Vatican puts 5 on trial for leaks
- Philippines reappraises hoard of Marcos jewelry
- Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September
- Settlement spat surfaces as Kerry visits Jerusalem
- Tunisia put under state of emergency
- Social media drives Cuban exodus to United States
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- Official: Paris attacks organizer was planning more carnage