• Italy's news in English

Pope Francis calls Italian teen for a chat

The Local · 22 Aug 2013, 11:13

Published: 22 Aug 2013 11:13 GMT+02:00

Stefano Cabizza was shocked when he picked up his phone at home in the north-west Italian city of Padua, only to find the Pope on the end of the line.

The information engineering student had written a letter to the pope and gave it to a cardinal when he attended mass with his family in Rome.

“I wanted to speak about my fantastic experience to bring this great and humble gesture to light, and the closeness between us faithful followers and Pope Francis,” Cabizza said, quoted in Il Gazzettino.

The pair spoke on the phone for eight minutes, during which the Pope told Cabizza to address him with the informal "tu".

“Do you think that the apostles used ‘Lei’ with Jesus? Or used ‘your excellency'?

“They were friends like us now, and friends are used to using ‘tu’,” the Pope told the teenager, according to the paper.

The ‘Lei’ form of ‘you’ in Italian is used as a mark of respect and it would usually be unthinkable for a teenager to address the leader of the Catholic Church with the casual 'Tu'.

Since becoming pontiff in March, Pope Francis has been praised for his humble and informal style which has helped him reconnect with Catholic youth.

Story continues below…

Last month he attracted millions of young Catholics to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, as part of an international youth festival.

In July the Pope also personally responded to a three-year-old, who had written a letter to the pontiff and delivered it with the help of her grandmother.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pope cars auctioned off to help Syrian refugees
The cars have personalized number plates. Photo: AFP

Got a spare €9,000?

Renzi revives plan for a 'bridge to Sicily'
Renzi said the bridge would "bring Sicily closer". Photo: Sarah Murray/Flickr

The bridge was first dreamed up in the 1960's, but no prime minister has succeeded in bringing it to fruition.

‘Destitute’ private jet owner fined thousands for tax fraud
The private jet-owner claimed to have no income or property. File photo: Bob Adams/Flickr

He had a private aeroplane and eight homes.

Italian mayor refuses to officiate civil unions
A protest in favour of civil unions earlier this year. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

“Why can’t a mayor be a conscientious objector?”

Netflix to launch 'illuminating' Amanda Knox documentary
Amanda Knox in court for her first appeal of her murder conviction. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP pool/AFP

The documentary comes out on Netflix on Friday.

Venetians dress as pirates to protest cruise ships
A protestor at a previous demonstration against large ships. Photo: AFP

Locals aren't happy about the presence of huge cruise ships in the Venetian lagoon.

EU, Rome warn Swiss region over vote to curb migrants
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Photo: AFP

The southern Swiss region Ticino voted on Monday to curb job access for workers living across the border in Italy.

Italy's crunch referendum set for December 4th
The referendum has turned into a vote on Prime Minister Renzi's time in office. Photo: AFP

The proposed reforms are judged to be the most important in Italy since World War II.

Outcry in Italy over Swiss vote to ban foreign workers
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

The Ticino region borders Italy, with 63,000 jobs there held by cross-border workers.

Italian doctors remove wrong kidney from sick man
File photo: Pexels

Doctors wondered why the man wasn't recovering after having his kidney removed...

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
jobs available