An Italian man apologized to Pope Francis after assuming his phone call was a prank.
The pope was amused by the mistake. Nothing fazes this guy! (Getty)
The next time you get a phone call from someone claiming to be the pope, don't hang up. Unless he asks you if your refrigerator is running. Then it's a prank. Or if he asks you for your social security number. Then it's a scam. Or if it's a woman. The pope's a man.
Franco Rabuffi never got this advice, which is why he hung up on the real Pope Francis twice in a row on Monday. Rabuffi had written to the pontiff to tell him about his illness, but he never expected to get a call back. But the pope made a special point of calling Rabuffi to comfort him. In fact, Pope Francis often calls people who write to him. He's done it since he was inaugurated. It's all part of his mission to be the most popular pope since Saint Peter.
It wasn't until the pope called him back a third time (he just doesn't give up) that Rabuffi realized he was speaking to the genuine article. He told Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano:
“I was speechless but Francis came to my rescue, saying that what had happened was funny."
This is a marked contrast from Pope Benedict, who probably would have marked Rabuffi down for a little extra purgatory just for the slight.
Rabuffi appeared at the pope's Vatican audience on Wednesday to apologize. But if he really wanted to make things right, he should have brought a pizza. Francis can't resist those.