When an Italian porn star brought his parrot named Amore to see Pope Francis on Wednesday, the pope treated the green bird with the dignity and respect owed to any parrot. The bird received a papal blessing.
Francesco Lombardi is a former male stripper and current star of erotic films, as well as being head of the city council in Trezzano, in Northern Italy. As Francis was making his rounds in St. Peter's Square, he apparently noticed Lombardi's bird and then circled back to bless the green parrot.
Lombardi's next film is reportedly titled Lombardi, and will be directed by Tinto Brass—best known to American audiences for shooting Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione's 1979 horror orgy Caligula, which was written by Gore Vidal.
Amore the parrot climbed onto the pope's hand and said, according to Lombardi, "Papa!" This is the same thing Italians say when they see the pope, because in Italian he is called "Papa." We should not expect a parrot in Italy to say "pope," as English speakers do.
It had been a bad week for bird news from the Vatican, after white doves released as a symbol of peace were brazenly attacked by crows and seagulls. And Pope Francis once again showed his social media skills by turning a bad "trending topic" to good.
[Photos via AP.]