In July, Pope Francis made headlines by saying that Catholics should not condemn homosexuals.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said.
As you’d expect, his comment elicited praise from some and criticism from others.
Last week, French citizen Midi Trutino raised some eyebrows when told his local newspaper that he received a personal call from Pope Francis. In the conversation, Trutino says Francis told him not to worry about his homosexuality.
“I received the letter that you sent me,” Trutino recalled Pope Francis saying. “You need to remain courageous and continue to believe and pray and stay good. “Your homosexuality. It doesn’t matter. One way or another, we are all children of God. This is why we must continue to be good.”
As most Catholics would be, Trutino was blown away that the Pope called him.
“When I hung up the phone, I was completely filled with emotion,” Trutino said. “I was shaking. At the same time, the conversation was very relaxed. It was like a call from a friend, nice, very human.”
But Father Lombardi, a spokesperson for the Vatican, is now raining on Trutino’s parade. He says the Pope never called Trutino, and suggested that the call was from a Pope impersonator.
“The Pope never called this person… The only time the Pope has called France was to speak to Cardinal Barbarin. I absolutely deny this information.
“There is always the risk that people pretend to be the pope over the phone.”
Though Lombardi denies the Pope calling Trutino it’s not entirely clear who’s telling the truth. Pope Francis has been known to call members of the church in the past. In August, Francis called an Argentinean woman who had been raped by a police officer to console her. Italian magazine The Local Italy reported that the Pope made a phone call to an Italian teenager recently as well. Both calls were made in response to letters Francis had received.