There is yet another reason why the first Latin American pope, Pope Francis, is often referred to as the people’s pope.
This week a 44-year-old Argentine rape victim received a call from the pontiff himself where he reassured her that “you are not alone.”
Alejandra Pereyra, according to Argentine press, had written Pope Francis about a month ago to tell him of her victimization at the hand of a Cordoba police officer. The mother of six biological children and foster mother to six handicapped children, told the pontiff of her fear and her desperation at being raped twice by the police officer who was never charged with a crime. Pereyra also claims the crime was covered up by officials in Cordoba. She was losing faith in God and that justice would ever be done.
As the former archbishop of Buenos Aires the lack of impunity in Argentina is something Pope Francis must be all too familiar with. Many have said the lack of impunity for human rights abuses has been Argentina’s dark legacy that continues.
The Argentine born pontiff was apparently so moved by her letter that he decided to call her direct and assure her to “have faith that justice will be done.” The call lasted approximately 20 minutes.
Pereyra said “When I heard the Pope’s voice, it was like feeling the hand of God.” She vows to go visit “El papa” at the Vatican, since he personally invited her and granted her an audience.