Pope Francis calls Argentine newsstand owner to cancel paper delivery

Mar 25, 2013, 02:17 IST | Agencies

Amid the pomp and ceremony of his installation as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis still found time to phone a kiosk in Buenos Aires and cancel his daily newspaper order.

At first Daniel Del Regno thought it was a prank call, perhaps made by a friend trying to pull his leg. The Pope — the former archbishop of Buenos Aires — had to insist it was really him calling from the Vatican.

God bless the child: Pope kisses a baby as he leaves at the end of a mass at St Peter’s square as part of the Palm Sunday celebration. Pics/AFP

“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio. I’m calling you from Rome,” he said during the call last week. The Pope asked Del Regno to cancel the delivery of his newspaper to his modest apartment because he would not be returning to Argentina any time soon. “I was in shock, I broke down in tears and didn’t know what to say,” Del Regno said. “He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent his best wishes to my family.”

The kiosk owner said that he had asked the then Cardinal Bergoglio, on the eve of his departure for Rome, how he rated his chances of being chosen as the successor to Benedict XVI. “He answered me, ‘See you in 20 days. Keep delivering the paper.’ And the rest is, well, history.”

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