Pope Francis Makes a Surprise Call to Italy's National Broadcaster, RAI for Christmas
(Rome) On Thursday, a telephone call from Pope Franziskus came "surprisingly" at the dawn to the Italian state broadcaster, RAI1: "Hello? I'm Pope Francis ". The pontiff was switched to broadcast live and he congratulated the morning show Unomattina to its 30th anniversary.
The Pope congratulated "all employees, presenters, journalists, directors and technicians" and praised the program.
The moderators were delighted and congratulated the Pope on his 80th birthday, which he had celebrated on 17 December. They asked Francis "to wish all the spectators" Merry Christmas, among whom "are also many sick and old people".
"Yes, I wish you all a Christian Christmas, as it was the first time when God wanted to turn the world's values upside down and made himself small in a barn, with the little ones, with the poor, with the excluded.
The smallness, the insignificance: in this world where the god of money is promoted so much, may Christmas help us to look at the smallness of this God, who has turned the secular values upside down."
Francis then wished everyone, employees and spectators, Merry Christmas: "I wish you a holy and happy, very Merry Christmas. A hug to everyone."
Presenter Franco Di Mare then described how moved he had been. "I thought I could not stand it, I was so excited." He and his colleague Francesca Fialdini would have held each other "like children". The director had told us before the show that something like this might happen. But then everything seemed incredible to us."
It was not the first time a Pope had called in to a direct broadcast of RAI. In 1998, it was John Paul II who called in the main evening program, during a program dedicated to the 20th anniversary of his pontificate.
Personally, the Pope deals differently with television: Francis told the Argentine daily newspaper La Voz del Pueblo (The voice of the people) on 25 May 2015, during one of his interviews now routinely granted. In it, he said, he completely ceased to watch TV in 1990.
"I have not seen TV since 1990. This is a promise I gave to Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the night of July 15, 1990," the Pope said.