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Papal phone call comforts a traditionalist critic

November 18, 2013

Pope Francis has placed a personal phone call to a traditionalist Catholic writer who had criticized the Pontiff, assuring the journalist that he knew his criticisms were motivated by love for the Church.

Mario Palmaro, who is gravely ill, said that he had been “astonished, amazed, above all moved” by the call from the Pontiff. He said that the Pope had expressed his sympathy for his medical condition. When Palmaro ventured to assure the Pope that he had intended his criticism to be constructive, he said: “The Pope almost did not let me finish the sentence” before assuring him that he appreciated the criticism.

Palmaro expressed some displeasure that the media had learned about the phone call from the Pope, which was “of an absolutely private nature.” He said that he would have preferred to keep the conversation private, and that “the Pontiff would never have been known. Also because the Pontiff obviously had no intention that his gesture be made public, as well as the contents of our conversation.”


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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Nov. 18, 2013 5:10 PM ET USA

    So how did the media find out about the phone call? Did the pope or someone in his office release the information? Did Palmaro himself release it? Did the pope say the phone call was "of an absolutely private nature?" If he didn't, Palmaro shouldn't be surprised that the news leaked out. Virtually nothing is secret anymore.