After sending his papal Swiss guards into a frenzy when he shook the hands of parishioners, allowing himself to be touched and slapped on the back, after mass on Sunday at St. Anna, the Vatican's tiny parish church, the latest demonstration of the new Pope Francis' clear-cut leadership approach was when he telephoned a Vatican receptionist, only to be reproached by the person thinking it was one of those thousands of prank calls that he had received.
Followers of the Roman Catholic faith and the rest of the global populace have seen how Pope Francis, in just a few hours after he was proclaimed heir to the 266th throne of St Peter the Apostle, behaved and conducted himself. Perhaps not meaning to gain attention, but the new pontiff had indeed imprinted his mark as to how he would most probably steer his leadership style within the halls of the Vatican and on the 1.2 billion Catholics all over the world.
Pope Francis wanted to talk to Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Pope's old Jesuit order. Naturally, to get his objective through, he would need to call the person. And call he did, but first he had to pass through the receptionist, identified only as Andreas.
The new pontiff identified himself, well, only as himself. But this didn't sit well with Andreas, who responded "Oh yes? And I'm Napoleon."
"You can't really blame the poor man. No other pope would have picked up a telephone to make their own calls. An official usually calls a secretary who places the call," the Daily Mail quoted an unidentified Vatican expert.
Pope Francis didn't take the matter seriously as something directly lashed against him. Instead, he took pity on the receptionist, perhaps thinking the poor guy had his fair enough share of prank calls in his lifetime service within the Vatican halls.
"I really am Pope Francis," was all he said.
"Do not worry, Andreas, just connect me with Father General, I would like to thank him for the charming letter."
Doused maybe by the Holy Spirit, poor Andreas though a bit shaken and stunned for what he just did, immediately offered apologies to the new pontiff, which the later graciously accepted.
Suffice to say, it was just all part in a day's work for Pope Francis, who continued to exhibit his simple, down-to-earth and no-nonsense leadership style.
Perhaps Vatican ought to get used to it already. Surely there will be more displays to come.
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