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Pope to disabled: priests who do not welcome everyone should close their parish

2016-06-13

It was perhaps the meeting with the most hugs, kisses and selfies during his Pontificate. Upon arrival, the Pope also greeted participants with sign language. It was an encounter with both volunteers and the disabled, to reflect on how they should be received within the Church. 

Their time together was a chance to ask the Pope questions and hear his answers.

"I'm in a group of young people and this year we will go to WYD in Krakow. However, I know many young people like me are not so comfortable in their parishes, cannot receive Communion and cannot go to Mass with others. I do not understand, you can explain it to me?

POPE FRANCIS
"Serena has really put me on the spot! Because if I say what I think… Serena spoke about one of the ugliest things among us: discrimination. It's a terrible thing.” "You're not like me, you go over there... "But I want to do catechesis...” 
"In this parish, no. This parish is for those who are the same, without differences,” "Is this a good or bad parish?

"Noooooo". 

"A priest who does not welcome everyone...what advice would the Pope give him? Please, close the doors of the parish – either everyone, or no one!

Pope Francis spoke not only of the Church, but he asked that the whole society work to not discriminate against these people.

The meeting starred little Lucrezia, who shamelessly approached the Pope.

POPE FRANCIS
"Come, come... This is brave. Come...She is courageous, she is not scared, she risks, she knows differences are an asset! She will never be discriminated against, she is able to defend herself.” 

The Pope did not leave empty-handed. They invited him to a restaurant where some of them work and brought him fruits and vegetables they had grown. However, above all, he was given hundreds of hugs.


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