Another interview with Pope Francis. This time with Eugenio Scalfari an Italian journalist, co-founder of the newspaper La Repubblica.
"The meeting with Pope Francis took place last Tuesday at his home in Santa Marta, in a small bare room with a table and five or six chairs and a painting on the wall. It had been preceded by a phone call I will never forget as long as I live.
It was half past two in the afternoon. My phone rang and in a somewhat shaky voice my secretary tells me: "I have the Pope on the line. I'll put him through immediately."
I was still stunned when I heard the voice of His Holiness on the other end of a the line saying, "Hello, this is Pope Francis." "Hello Your Holiness", I say and then, "I am shocked I did not expect you to call me." "Why so surprised? You wrote me a letter asking to meet me in person. I had the same wish, so I'm calling to fix an appointment. Let me look at my diary: I can't do Wednesday, nor Monday, would Tuesday suit you?"
I answer, that's fine.
"The time is a little awkward, three in the afternoon, is that okay? Otherwise it'll have to be another day." Your Holiness, the time is fine." "So we agree: Tuesday 24 at 3 o'clock. At Santa Marta. You have to come into the door at the Sant'Uffizio."
I don't know how to end this call and let myself go, saying: "Can I embrace you by phone?" "Of course, a hug from me too. Then we will do it in person, goodbye."
And here I am. The Pope comes in and shakes my hand, and we sit down. The Pope smiles and says: "Some of my colleagues who know you told me that you will try to convert me."