Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pope Francis meets disability campaigner Ileana Argentin

The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, has released a statement about the Pope’s audience with Italian disability campaigner Ileana Argentin.

Please find the full statement below, in translation from the original Italian

“On Saturday morning the Holy Father received in audience Ileana Argentin, who is well-known for her efforts, achievements and expertise as a disability campaigner first with the Rome City Council and now with the Italian Parliament.

The MP had sent Pope Francis a personal letter, asking to speak to him about various disability issues. The Pope promptly replied inviting her to a meeting, which took place this morning in the Apostolic Palace and lasted about half an hour.

Ms. Argentin focused principally on the importance of supporting the parents of seriously disabled people, who live with great anxiety over what may happen to their children after their own deaths, and over the difficulties which their siblings may encounter in taking up the responsibility of care. The meeting also touched on other issues, such as the need to overcome barriers of accessibility to disabled people in public and Church buildings.

Pope Francis showed great interest in all these issues, and assured his participation and encouragement for all people and campaigns working with increasing dedication to challenge problems relating to disability.”

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