Francis has already garnered a slew of informal titles, such as “the pope of surprises,” “the pope of the poor,” and “the people’s pope.” Given his growing penchant for phoning total strangers out of the blue, however, he may earn yet another one: “the cold-call pope.”
Two such calls during August make the point.
On Aug. 18, Francis phoned Stefano Cabizza, a 19-year-old engineering student who lives in the Italian town of Padova whose family attended the pope’s Mass for the Aug. 15 feast of the Assumption in Castel Gandolfo. Cabizza had brought a personal letter for the pope to the Mass and approached a cardinal during the service to hand it to him, thinking that was the end of things.
Three days later, however, the phone rang at mid-morning at the Cabizza home, and was answered by Cabizza’s sister. The voice on the other end asked for Stefano, and when told he wasn’t home, asked when he might return. Without knowing who was on the line, the sister replied, “Around 5 p.m.,” and hung up. Read more…