• France edition
 
Vatican denies Pope made call to gay Catholic
Pope Francis called a gay French student to tell him "Your homosexuality. It does not matter".Vicenzo Pinto/AFP

Vatican denies Pope made call to gay Catholic

Published: 06 Sep 2013 09:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Sep 2013 09:54 GMT+02:00

The Vatican firmly denied reports in France on Friday that Pope Francis had telephoned a young gay French Catholic to reassure him. Christophe Trutino had claimed in a newspaper interview the Pontiff had told him “Your homosexuality. It doesn't matter" in a personal call.

Father Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican “firmly denied” claims by the young gay Catholic that the Pope had made a private telephone call to him last week.

After previously declining to deny or confirm the call, in which Christophe Trutino claimed the Pope told him “Your homosexuality doesn’t matter” Lombardi told Le Figaro newspaper: “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," he said.

“There is always the risk that people pretend to be the pope over the phone,” Lombardi added.

Trutino a 25-year-old sales assistant from Toulouse in the south west of France claimed to have written to the Pope to explain his difficulties in reconciling his sexuality with his faith.

In an interview with La Depeche du Midi Trutino said he received a response at the end of August, in a surpise phone call.

"It was he who started the conversation," Trutino told local newspaper La Dépêche du Midi. " 'He said 'Christopher? It's Pope Francis'. I was unsettled, of course. I asked, " Really? " He replied : "Yes."

"I know it's hard to believe, but it really happened like that. From that moment on , I no longer doubted," said the young Frenchman.

“I received the letter that you sent me. You need to remain courageous and continue to believe and pray and stay good,” the voice at the end of the phone told him during the nine-minute conversation in Spanish.

“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," he continued.

Trutino said the phone call concluded with the person he believed to be the Pope asking the young man to pray for him and that he would do the same in return.

“When I hung up the phone, I was completely filled with emotion," the student told Midi Libre. 

"I was shaking. At the same time, the conversation was very relaxed. It was like a call from a friend, nice, very human.”

When initially contacted by La Depeche du Midi the director of the Vatican's press office said they could not comment on private matters and declined to confirm or deny that Pope had made the call.

However with the Vatican's denial it now appears he was either the victim of a hoax or made up the whole story himself.

When contacted by The Local the Vatican press office could not confirm whether  they had ever received a letter from the Trutino, and simply stressed that Father Lombardi had denied the young man's story.

Pope Francis had expressed his tolerance towards homosexuality on a visit to Brazil earlier this year when he said “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"

And the Pontiff has been known to pick up the phone to talk to his faithful. In August he called a woman who had been raped by an Argentinian policeman and had written to the Pontiff asking for help.

“You’re not alone,” he told her. 

And last month The Local Italy reported how the Pope had made a phone call to an Italian teenager, who had also written a letter to him.

Don't want to miss a story about France? - Then join The Local France on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande pictured on April 20th 2014. AFP Photo: Thomas Samson

Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande

France has "information" but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday. READ () »

PSG on course for double after cup triumph
PSG's galaxy of stars celebrate their French League Cup win over Lyon. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

PSG on course for double after cup triumph

Paris Saint-Germain won France's League Cup on Saturday, beating Lyon 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France to secure the first leg of a likely domestic double. READ () »

Freed journalists back on French soil
Francois Hollande welcomes French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres at the Villacoublay air base southwest of Paris. AFP Photo/Thomas Samson

Freed journalists back on French soil

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria arrived home on Sunday to an emotional reunion with family and colleagues after spending 10 months in captivity in the world's most dangerous country for the media. READ () »

French reporters held captive in Syria set free
Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres and Nicolas Henin. AFP Photo / Chris Huby/ Haytham Pictures/ Torres Family / Benoit Schaeffer

French reporters held captive in Syria set free

Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. READ () »

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown
Europe-wide search for missing French girl ends in her hometown. Photo: AFP

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown

A Europe-wide hunt for a missing 15-year-old French girl ended in her hometown on Friday where she was located with a 48-year-old family friend who was suspected of abducting her. Police believed the friend was suicidal. READ () »

French MP proposes puppy custody law
A French lawmaker wants puppies looked after in case of a divorce. Photo: Robbee/Flickr

French MP proposes puppy custody law

Who gets custody of a dog after a divorce? A French lawmaker has proposed a bill to create a legal framework to answer precisely that and other tricky questions surrounding pets. READ () »

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right
A mosque in the Paris suburbs has gotten a threat tied to the recent election of far-right National Front mayor. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right

After pork products turned up in the mailbox of a suburban Paris mosque along with a threatening letter praising the town's recently elected far-right National Front mayor, muslims are concerned about a "worrying" local shift. READ () »

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires
Hundreds of Velib' bike tires slashed in 'slavery' protest. Photo: Cyril Folliot/AFP

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires

Far-left activists slashed the tires on over 360 Velib’ bikes in Paris this week in protest of the ‘slave’ labour the programme’s operator uses to repair vandalized bikes. The vandals could themselves end up 'slave' labour. READ () »

New scandal means more bad news for president
France's president was smacked with his administration's latest embarrassing scandal. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

New scandal means more bad news for president

The latest blow to struggling President François Hollande came on Friday when a close aide quit over allegations he'd used taxpayer money to support a posh lifestyle and appeared to have breached conflict of interest barriers. READ () »

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay
France's economy minister wants bank bosses to explain their "indecent" pay. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay

France’s economy minister, outraged by huge pay hikes the bosses of the country’s biggest banks have awarded themselves in the past year, called the chiefs to a meeting to “explain” their “indecent” pay. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
Advertisement:
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Society
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
National
What's the worst thing to do when you realise you're on the wrong train?
From showers to kissing: Anglos tell Twitter what's weird about France
National
'A big quake will hit France and there will be casualties' - Scientist warns
Culture
After all the dozens of books is France still worth writing about?
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Opinion
Paris or the suburbs - where would you live?
National
VIDEO: Walk the line - crossing the Seine on a tightrope
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se