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Photo: Pope embraces disfigured man


Pope embraces disfigured manNot too long ago, he might have been forced to earn a living in a “freak show.” But on Thursday, a man suffering from neurofibromatosis — the same condition that afflicted Joseph Merrick, an Englishman who was billed as The Elephant Man — was welcomed by Pope Francis at the end of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

Francis “paused for several minutes to receive the sick man in his arms,” the Catholic News Agency reports. “Moments later, he took the man’s face in his hands, kissed him, and gave him a blessing.”

The photos of the pope’s blessing have gone viral. The man’s name is not yet known.



  1. rkohberger says:

    Isn’t this exactly what a Pope is supposed to do? Why the surprise or newsworthiness of this act?

  2. Sannies says:

    True, but the message got lost in the madness along the way. It’s good for the world to see some compassion in the news, which is usually filled with hate and war. You don’t have to be a Catholic or even a theist to appreciate the gesture.

  3. Tim says:

    People are surprised because no one else in the church does that. They all speak of what your supposed to do but then never do it. The whole church follows the “Do as I say, not as I do” motto. I mean look at that bishop is Germany who took the tithe from his parish and used it to build a $50 million house. It’s refreshing to see someone follow the Golden Rule for a change. Humility works wonders.

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