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Rome Reports

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A conference for deaf-mutes in the Vatican

He’s travelled all over the world to educate other deaf-mutes at conferences like this one. His commitment to helping others speaks volumes about his dedication in spite of his handicap. Father Axelrod is also blind.Rev. Cyrill AxelrodDeaf-mute priest“It’s very important for me to be here because firstly, it’s an opportunity to communicate with Church leaders and to tell them about deaf and have them know about our culture. The second reason is to encourage everybody, the deaf and hard of hearing priests—because of their difficulties in their lives, to encourage them and give them hope and patience so they can continue their pastoral work to the deaf.”The three day conference focused on the care of deaf-mutes in the Church, that included pastoral care and attention to deaf-mute faithful. Rev. David Lovitt MalloyDeaf-mute Priest“We thought it was important to build the relationship between the Church and the deaf.”David Lovitt Malloy is another one of the 13 deaf-mute priests in the world that uses sign language to celebrate Mass.Rev. David Lovitt MalloyDeaf-mute Priest“We use an interpreter. When I teach deaf people about communion, Mass, baptism, weddings, I teach them and we use an interpreter or I use sign language. It’s very important that we do this.”Mons. Zygmunt ZimowskiPresident, Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care“Before the Church did not allow the ordination of deaf-mutes. Now, it’s more open. There many organizations within the Church, like congregations, that are dedicated to our deaf-mute brothers and sisters.”Families and individuals from 67 countries attended the meeting and had a chance to meet the pope in an audience.There are some 1,300,000 members of the Catholic church worldwide that are deaf. The goal of this conference is to give a voice to this important minority and to foster a comfortable niche for them in the Church. ; ; RSSDC-LBWP