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Witness to Christ, Pope urges blind and deaf
cna ^ | March 29, 2014 | Kerri Lenartowick

Posted on 03/30/2014 10:29:05 AM PDT by NYer

Pope Francis greets attendees at an audience for the deaf and blind March 29. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.

Pope Francis greets attendees at an audience for the deaf and blind March 29. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.

Vatican City, Mar 29, 2014 / 10:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis held an audience with the blind and deaf on Saturday, encouraging them to become witnesses of Christ and to build a culture of encounter rather than exclusion.

“We think of the many whom Jesus wanted to meet, above all people marked by illness and disability, to heal them and to restore their full dignity to them. It is very important that such persons become witnesses of a new approach, that we could call a ‘culture of encounter,’” the Pontiff said to those gathered in Paul VI Audience Hall March 29.

He recalled two gospel stories: Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman, who exemplifies “the type of person that Jesus loved to meet, to make his witness: people who were marginalized, excluded, despised,” and Christ’s healing of the man born blind.

Despite the animosity of the Pharisees, Jesus heals the man who was blind from birth. This man, in turn, testifies to Christ’s healing power.

“The remarkable thing is that this man, starting from what had happened to him, became a witness of Jesus and of his work, that is the work of God, of life, of love, of mercy,” reflected Pope Francis.

“In effect, only those who recognize their own fragility, their own limits, can build fraternal relations of solidarity, in the Church and in society.”

This culture of encounter exemplified by Christ stands in stark contrast to “the culture of exclusion, of prejudice.”

Someone who has met the Lord “who has known him, or better, has felt knowledge of him, recognition, respect, love, forgiveness,” has had an encounter which “has touched him profoundly, has filled him with a new joy, a new significance for life. And this shines through, communicates itself, is transmitted to others,” explained Pope Francis.

“The sick or disabled person, precisely from his fragility, from his limits, can become a witness to encounter: the encounter with Jesus that unfolds to life and to faith, and the encounter with others, with the community.”

The Pope urged the blind and deaf who had gathered to meet with him, “let yourselves encounter Jesus.” He said only Jesus “truly knows the heart of man, only he can free us from shutting down and from fruitless pessimism and open us to life and to hope.”

Jakob Badde, a deaf man who attended Saturday’s audience, told CNA he was surprised at “how many people came, how excited they were, and the emotion.” He also noted “the patience of the Pope, how relaxed he was.”

Badde expressed his hope that the Saturday meeting will be the start of something more in the future. “I hope Pope Francis will improve relations with the deaf (community), and then he will also realize what technical needs there are.”

The young man from Germany added that the excitement of today’s meeting was marred only by a lack of translators using sign language in various languages: only Italian sign language was used.

“I have the feeling and the joy, but without the message,” he lamented.

Nonetheless, he said, the audience was “a beautiful encounter” with “this excitement, this passion, and then this quiet, great person.”

“I’ve never seen something like this,” he reflected.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS:
Meeting with the Associations of blind and deaf-mute people - Video
1 posted on 03/30/2014 10:29:05 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Check out the little kid running up the steps ; - ) He becomes distracted by the service dogs and goes over to visit them.


2 posted on 03/30/2014 10:30:55 AM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

**The Pope urged the blind and deaf who had gathered to meet with him, “let yourselves encounter Jesus.” He said only Jesus “truly knows the heart of man, only he can free us from shutting down and from fruitless pessimism and open us to life and to hope.”**

Amen!


3 posted on 03/30/2014 10:31:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

This is when he met with Obama, right?


4 posted on 03/30/2014 10:33:22 AM PDT by Darteaus94025 (Can't have a Liberal without a Lie)
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To: NYer; Salvation
The original article from "The Long Island Catholic" is sadly no longer available, but its excerpt is still on FreeRepublic: Faith Helps Blind, Deaf Man Navigate in Seeing, Hearing World
5 posted on 03/30/2014 10:42:38 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: NYer

Obama and democrats:

The blind, deaf and dumb leading the blind, deaf and the dumber.


6 posted on 03/30/2014 10:42:48 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
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To: NYer
"The young man from Germany added that the excitement of today’s meeting was marred only by a lack of translators using sign language in various languages: only Italian sign language was used."

Now, let us guess that the Pope's reaction to this man's observation might be to appeal to other Christians, out of their love for Christ, to volunteer to become translators, thereby serving both the cause of glorifying Christ and serving their fellow human beings.

On the other hand, might we not also guess that so-called "progressives" and the current American President would use the "crisis" of a lack of translators to "redistribute" the earnings of hard-working citizens to pay for another impersonal government program in order to "glorify" politicians and buy votes of blind persons?

7 posted on 03/30/2014 10:50:29 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

In the video, a South American priest introduces the group, identifying himself as their representative. His speech was in Italian because the group present, it seemed, were all from Italy. He cited global statistics on the number of blind and deaf but the group in attendance, were from Italy. Perhaps, as a result of the announced meeting, others chose to join them, in which case, they should be grateful for such an audience, regardless of the language spoken. When in Rome ...


8 posted on 03/30/2014 11:26:10 AM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: Darteaus94025

I was going to ask “...but why bring the press into this?”


9 posted on 03/30/2014 2:57:23 PM PDT by RichInOC (2013-14 Tiber Swim Team)
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To: Darteaus94025

I was going to ask “...but why bring the press into this?”


10 posted on 03/30/2014 2:57:25 PM PDT by RichInOC (2013-14 Tiber Swim Team)
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To: NYer

Let’s see the Left try to twist this to their ends. Good luck with that, turkies!


11 posted on 03/30/2014 6:02:15 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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