“What I miss most in this Diocese is not being able to ‘wander the streets,’ as I did in Buenos Aires, walking from one parish to another.”
Pope Francis made this remark in a letter to Spanish journalist Javier Martínez Brocal, the director of the Rome-based news website Rome Reports.
On 11 January, the reporter was passing through Rome’s Pantheon area and saw the Pope leaving “Stereosound,” a record store whose owners he has known since his days as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The black and white photo of the Pope exiting the “disc-store of the Pantheon” – as local Romans call the locale – carrying a classical music record given to him by the owner of the store, Letizia Giostra, and her daughter Tiziana, went viral on social networks within minutes.
The Pope himself saw the photo and thanked Brocal for this “noble” post.
At the same time, he wrote, “one cannot deny that it was a ‘terrible fate’ (a misfortune, ed.) that, after taking all precautions, there was a journalist waiting for someone at the cab stop.”
The Pope immediately clarified in his letter that this remark was a light-hearted joke: “We must not lose our sense of humor.”
He also encouraged reporters to “fulfill their vocation” as journalists, “even if it means embarrassing (‘mettere in difficoltà’) the Pope.”