Old pope, new pope have a chat

This article appears in the Pope Francis feature series. View the full series.

Rome — Pope Francis today made a phone call to his predecessor, Benedict XVI, after his inaugural Mass to wish him well on his saint's name day -- the feast of St. Joseph.

The given name of Pope Benedict XVI, of course, is Joseph Ratzinger. (In addition, Ratzinger's parents were named Joseph and Mary.)

A brief Vatican statement on the phone call appears below.

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"This afternoon, shortly after 5:00 pm, Pope Francis called the pope emeritus Benedict XVI by phone to give him warm wishes on the occasion of his saint’s name day, St. Joseph, and to once again express his gratitude and that of the church for his service. The conversation was ample and cordial. The pope emeritus has followed with intense participation the events of these days, in particular this morning’s celebration, and assured his successor of his continued closeness in prayer."

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