Unstuffy Pope Francis rings Italian teenager for a chat | World news | theguardian.com

pope-francis1An Italian teenager who wrote to Pope Francis was shocked when the informal Argentinian pontiff phoned him for a chat.In the latest of series of calls made by Pope Francis which embody his unstuffy style, the pontiff rang Stefano Cabizza, an IT student from Padua, for a jokey conversation after the youth wrote to him about his life and his hopes of finding a job after graduating.Cabizza reported he was lost for words when a voice said: “This is Pope Francis.””I couldn’t believe it. We laughed and joked for eight minutes,” he told Italian newspaper Il Gazzettino, adding: “It was certainly the best day of my life.”Francis started by asking Cabizza to address him using the informal Italian word ‘tu’, rather than the more formal ‘lei’.Cabizza reported Francis reminded him Jesus and the apostles used ‘tu’. “They were friends as you and I are now and I am used to using ‘tu’ with friends,” Cabizza said Francis told him.The student said Francis blessed him and asked him to pray for him.The pope had already called him once, said Cabizza, but called back after missing him because he was out.It was reported earlier this month that the pope had rung a man in central Italy who had written to him after his brother was murdered.Michele Ferri, 40, said he had been stunned to pick up the phone and hear a voice say, “Ciao Michele, it’s Pope Francis.””He told me he had cried when he read the letter I had written him,” Ferri said.Francis’s disregard for protocol was first evident days after his election as pope in March when he called his newsagent in Buenos Aires to cancel his newspaper subscription, explaining he was staying in Rome for good.Francis needed to persuade the newsagent, Daniel Del Regno, that it was really him, and not a joke call. He also called his dentist to cancel an appointment.The 76-year-old pope has sent shockwaves through the Vatican by his decision not to move into the papal apartment, instead taking a room at the busy residence at the Vatican where visiting prelates stay, and where he joins them for meals in the canteen.

via Unstuffy Pope Francis rings Italian teenager for a chat | World news | theguardian.com.