Pope stops Wednesday general audience to take phone call, meets with clergy abuse survivors
Pope Francis halted his general audience Wednesday to take a cellphone call, for which the Vatican has yet to provide any details.
He also made time during the audience to meet with a group of LGBTQ+ Catholics as well as clergy abuse survivors from Germany, who submitted a letter demanding a better response to the crisis.
The Vatican typically holds general audience conversations on Wednesdays to give the public rare access to the Pope.
Members of the LGBTQ+ group Mosaiko used the opportunity to snap a photo with Francis in an effort to promote inclusion and unity on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
“The appeal we want to send to Pope Francis is for the church to finally, let’s say, to welcome us,” said Tiziano Fani Braga, the group’s coordinator.
Also in attendance at St. Peter’s Square, were survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their companions. A total of 15 led a bicycle pilgrimage to Rome, traveling all the way from Munich to hand the Pope a letter.
Their message aims to alter the way the Catholic Church responds to instances of rape and child molestation at the hands of its priests. The campaign also aims to shift how the church cares for the victims of such abuse.
Francis’ Wednesday catechism centered on the life of St. Francis Xavier, and concluded with his usual call for peace in Ukraine.
Midway through the talk, an assistant walked over and handed him a cellphone. The audience waited for roughly a minute while he spoke quietly on the phone, before resuming his speech to the crowd.
According to the Catholic News Agency, it’s the fourth time the Pope has taken a phone call during a general audience in the last two years.
With News Wire Services