Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

Pope taps phone power to connect, console


(By Christopher Livesay)
Vatican City, August 27 - Since his nomination in
March, Pope Francis has charted new terrain in a number of
areas, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America, the first
Jesuit, and the first to choose the name Francis, just to name
his first day on the throne of St Peter.
Now more than five months later, he's become the first
known pope with a passion for the telephone, dialing up those
faithful who somehow touch him with a personal letter, and often
dialing up switchboards when a number isn't handy.
The latest instance was reported Tuesday, when an
Argentinian rape victim said in a radio interview that she was
"touched by God" when the former archbishop of Buenos Aires rang
her on Sunday.
Alejandra Pereyra, 44, who was raped by a policeman, said
that she wrote to the pope several weeks ago asking for help.
Pereyra said that "at about 3:30 pm, my cell phone rang.
When I asked who it was, he responded, 'The pope'".
The 30-minute conversation was about "faith and trust," she
"The pope listened to what I said with much attention.
"Now I will do everything possible to get to the Vatican.
"He said he would receive me".
Apparently on the same day, Francis telephoned the mother
of a slain Marche gas-station owner for the second time since he
was shot dead in June.
"Signora Rosalba, I'm Pope Francis," the pontiff said,
according to the brother of the victim, who wrote to the pope
about the "senseless" murder.
Andrea Ferri was shot in his SUV June 4.
Vatican watchers associate the unprecedented phone calling
with the pope's common touch, rivaling even 'the people's pope'
John XXIII, according to many, by such outpourings of emotion as
embracing and kissing attendants at Angelus masses in St Peter's
Square, and once even exchanging his papal cap for a white hat
proffered by a gleeful onlooker.
In addition to making his own calls, the pope reportedly
makes his own bed at the Saint Martha's House residence inside
the Vatican, where he has eschewed the luxurious trappings of
the papal apartments since his enthronement in favor of mingling
with staff and visitors.
Earlier this month, 19-year-old engineering student Stefano
Cabizza received the surprise of his life when he received a
call from the pope in response to a letter.
Cabizza, from Padua, said he remained speechless for
several seconds after the pope introduced himself, adding that
the two of them laughed and joked about the pope's first failed
attempt to call, forcing him to try a second time.
The student said Francis blessed him, and that he felt an
immediate sense of strength afterwards on what he considered to
be "the best day of my life".

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