A tender moment between Pope Francis and a grieving child during a parish visit Sunday. https://bit.ly/2Hr0ih4
Those participating in the pope’s encounter with children from the parish of St. Paul of the Cross in Corviale were undoubtedly moved.
One of the children appeared embarrassed and afraid to ask the pope his question. However, shortly after,many understood it was because his question was very difficult to answer, “My father has been gone for a short time. He was an atheist, but he baptized his four children. He was a good man. Is Dad in Heaven?”
Seeing the young boy was unable to ask his question, the pope told him to whisper it in his ear. After a few moments of speaking with the child, Pope Francis asked him if he could reveal his question and he said yes.
Francis said he had asked Emanuele if he could share the boy’s question and the boy agreed. “‘A little while ago my father passed away. He was a nonbeliever, but he had all four of his children baptized. He was a good man. Is dad in heaven?’”
“How beautiful to hear a son say of his father, ‘He was good,’” the pope told the children. “And what a beautiful witness of a son who inherited the strength of his father, who had the courage to cry in front of all of us. If that man was able to make his children like that, then it’s true, he was a good man. He was a good man.”
“That man did not have the gift of faith, he wasn’t a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart,” Francis said.
“God is the one who says who goes to heaven,” the pope explained.
“Come, come, come.”
“I can’t do it.”
“Come to me, Emanuele. Come and tell me in my ear. Tell me in my ear.”
“If only we could cry like Emanuele when we have pain in our hearts. He cries for his father who died, and had the courage to do so before us because there is love in his heart for his dad.
I asked Emanuele permission to reveal his question to the public and he said ‘yes.’ “My father died a short time ago. He was an atheist, but he baptized his four children. He was a good man. Is dad in Heaven?”
It’s nice that a son says that about his father, that he “was good.” If that man was able to raise his children like that, then he was a good man. God is proud of your father.” Do you think that God would be able to leave a man like him far from Him? Do you think that? Louder, with courage.”
Does God abandon His children?
Does God abandon His children when they are good?
Here, Emanuele, this is the answer. God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier when one is a believer to baptize his children, than to baptize them when you are an unbeliever. Surely God like this so much. Talk to your dad, pray for your dad. Thanks Emanuele for your courage.