Pope Francis reaches out to followers by phone

Known for his down-to-earth personality, Pope Francis has found a direct way of reaching out to the faithful -- not too different from what a telemarketer does.

Nicknamed "Cold Call Pope," the pontiff, who had taken selfies with young followers and tweeted, has made surprise phone calls to several people, reports CBS News' Alphonso Van Marsh.

One of them, Michele Ferri, told CBS News about a recent conversation. Ferri wrote a letter to the Pope in a moment of rage; but was shocked when she picked up the phone and heard:"'Hi Michele, this is Pope Francis.'"

"I never imagined that the Pope would call me on my cell phone," said Ferri. "I thought I would get a form letter perhaps. But never a phone call."

Reportedly, the Pope called a divorced pregnant woman and offered to baptized her baby; she wrote to the pontiff when her boyfriend pressured her to have an abortion. There were also reports that Francis also responded to a rape survivor's letter.

While Vatican officials worry this approach might lead to phone calls from pranksters, followers are excited at the prospect of getting a phone call from the pope himself.