The phone on Eugenio Scalfari’s desk rang.
Hello, this is Pope Francis.
Hello Your Holiness. I am shocked. I did not expect you to call me.
The atheist editor of the Italian daily La Republica had recently written the Holy See, asking for a meeting with the pope.
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?
Read Scalfari’s refreshing account of the rest of the conversation here.