From the woman who wrote to Pope Francis and who got a phone call in reply:
The number was from Rome, with a 06 dial code, and as soon as he started speaking I recognised the voice as his. I was just so surprised that he had telephoned me. He said that he had read my letter and he wanted to speak to me personally about it and reassure me that someone was worried about me.
He reassured me and said a child was a gift from God, a sign of Divine Providence and that I would never be left alone. He said that as Christians we should never be afraid.
He told me I had been very brave and strong for my unborn child. I told him that I wanted to baptize the baby when it was born but I was afraid as I was divorced and a single mother but he said he would be my spiritual father and he would baptize my baby.
Pope Benedict’s defenders would say their man would do no differently. And I believe that. The difference would not be in the decision to baptize the infant, but obviously, in the phone call.
Most lost people do not need a phone call from the pope. The example is set for the rest of us. Clearly, the pope reads his mail–or at least some of it. I have no idea what his discernment mechanism is on something like that.
Speaking for myself, I find I need to be open to any slight urge I get. Like sitting down next to a tired-looking parishioner after 10:30 Mass this morning.
A Vatican spokesperson:
The Pope doesn’t tell us when he makes these calls. He just does them and then we find out about them later.
I like that. The tricky part is when I do something like that and the pastor finds out later. It’s all well and good when the top of the administrative ladder goes lone ranger like that. Otherwise …