Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pope Francis visits Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi

Pope offers drug addicts an embrace and a challenge

Pope Francis greets a young man as he meets with patients, family, and staff at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
A story from Catholic News Service by Francis X. Rocca reported that Pope Francis visited the Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi. He inaugurated a new wing dedicated to treating users of crack cocaine while he was there.

Pope Francis addressed a group of recovering drug addicts in a working-class neighbourhood of Rio, offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to self-determination.

At the Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi, which he called a "shrine of human suffering," he told patients they were the "flesh of Christ," like the leper embraced by the institution's patron saint in a crucial step toward his conversion. He also said those struggling with drug dependency deserve the "closeness, affection, and love" of all society.

Yet the Pope also stressed the necessity of personal will in recovering from addiction.

Full article available here.

A nun wearing a clown nose smiles as Pope Francis meets with patients. CNS photo / Paul Haring.

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