Wednesday papal audiences are usually a good opportunity for ordinary people to gain access to Pope Francis, and this week’s was no exception.
The pontiff was photographed with a group of LGBTQ+ Catholics and several survivors of sexual abuse who had cycled to the Vatican from Germany handed him a letter asking for a better Church response to the crisis.
But this Wednesday had a peculiarity: in the midst of all this, Francis stopped the action in St. Peter’s Square to receive a call on a mobile phone, which he answered during the meeting.
The device beeped as a man climbed onto the lectern to give one of the morning readings, but was told by an aide to the pope to wait. Soon after, the official handed Francisco a cell phone, who spoke quickly for about a minute and resumed the hearing.
The Vatican He did not provide information on the content of the call.
Meanwhile, members of the Mosaiko LGBTQ+ group said they took to the streets to deliver a message of inclusion and unity to the pontiff on the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
“What we have come to ask Pope Francis is this the Church finally, let’s say, welcomes us”, said Tiziano Fani Braga, coordinator of the group, after the hearing. “We try to be an integral part of the Church, like all believers, without discrimination and to fight against any kind of discrimination”.
Also in the square were 15 survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their companions, who left Munich on May 6 on a bicycle pilgrimage to Rome. They have tried to draw attention to how the Catholic Church treats priests who rape and sexually abuse children and vulnerable adults, and how it treats victims.
The group sent a letter to Francis urging him to “do everything in his power to ensure that in all sectors of the universal Church the problem of sexual and spiritual abuse is seen, addressed and prevented through adequate preventive measures”.
The letter acknowledges that some first steps have been taken, but stresses that more needs to be done and that it should send “a clear signal to authors and bishops who have fallen short of their responsibilities and who, to some extent, have not yet today.” Done”.
Francis’ weekly catechism lesson focused on the life and vocation of St. Francis Xavier, and concluded with another call for peace in Ukraine.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.