The Most Beautiful Photo: Pope Francis Kissing a Disfigured Man

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Pope Francis' General Audience

Claudio Peri / ANSA / ZUMAPRESS.com

This morning Pope Francis kissed and blessed a man suffering from severe facial disfigurement during his audience in St. Peter’s Square. We may not know the words the Holy Father prayed, but it is a living reminder of this story from the Gospel of Matthew:

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” –Matthew 8:1-4

22 comments
EsilefOvat
EsilefOvat

The juxtaposition of emotions is perhaps the most powerful element in this touching yet repulsive image. The ailing man suffers daily from the world's stares and rejection, coupled with the unimaginable pain of his own bodily condition. But at this poignant moment, he feels joy and reverence, more so than he ever thought possible, even though it's a feeling all humans regardless of station can lay claim to. The Pope is charged daily by the joy and adoring eyes of the throngs that envelop his every move with a cumulative collective crescendo of compassion. The Father embraces the Son, and the world becomes silent.

MontyDAztec
MontyDAztec

This Pope actually seems to try to follow the teachings of Jesus.  Pretty unique for a christian, let alone a pope.

janewtodd
janewtodd

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BobVidler
BobVidler

See this as not a pope to a man, but a human to a human. If you can perform the same level of compasion to a suffering person,  then kudos to you. If you are critical of the pope, go out and do the same. I am not a christian but I undersatnd empathy. So I ask of you to go out and do what you can to sooth and re-assure the suffering people in your vacinity. Compassion and empathy are within you if you will just have the courage to live them. Like this pope is doing. He has his (belief) on the line. Do you? This POPE is onto it. Are you a courageous person like this man? I hope so. Woman. Man. Kind. Go and be kind.

mediansulcus
mediansulcus

if only that dude had prayed harder. the almighty who controls everything and has dominion over all, obviously wanted that guy to be bumpy.


any objection to the will of the almighty is blasphemy.

RJWinUK
RJWinUK

Well nice to see him set an example of not shunning the guy but this doesn't in any other way help the man. A secular organisation would provide medical treatment and are making medical advances and immunization programs. The Catholic Church are a tax free organisation and after kissing this man he will go back to his giant palace and do nothing to actually help the guy. This is why you should give to secular organisations that actually help people and not religions that just pray and do nothing of worth. 

Felix0
Felix0

@RJWinUK Dude bro, man doesn't live on bread alone. Medical advances and treatment is all great and all, but people need and flourish when others love and care about them in a genuine connection. Thıs man is probably shunned and ignored by many because of his condition. He probably feels very lonely and in despair a lot. 

The Pope is showing him care and love in an intimate human connection in front of many. That is what he has been preaching of and what we need more of in this world of indifference and uncaring for other people's suffering. Its not just enough to give money to the homeless, but to connect with them and share in their suffering Whether you are religious or not - its a very noble message and something that we need more of. 

rlopez8
rlopez8

@RJWinUK

Praying for the man is helping him.  His spirit was lifted and if you don't believe in God then you must believe there is value in the change of someones state of mind.  Secular organizations can work with non-secular to do a lot of good.  It doesn't have to be one or the other.  Pope Francis will not go to a giant palace.  He lives in a humble apartment which in chose instead.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10086876/Pope-Francis-shunned-official-papal-apartments-to-live-normal-life.html

MarceMirandaCordova
MarceMirandaCordova

@RJWinUK is amazing how ignorant you are! Did you know pope frnacis refused to live in the pope's palace? Did you know the church is not formed by priests and sisters? The church is mainly formed by the people who follow Christ, not just the pope.

3riiick
3riiick

The Catholic Church does not JUST pray... Hahaha.Your being judgemental. Do you know the charity works in health and education the Catholic Church provides, especially in poor countries, aside from praying for everybody's soul (alive and the departed)?

joenolan501
joenolan501

@RJWinUK The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. The Church helps millions of  people with free medical care all over the world every day. 

RJWinUK
RJWinUK

@jamenijamjam @RJWinUK - see above - the charitable work is minimal to nothing when compared to the gains they make through selling religion. And I have listed just some of the harm they do above. 

RJWinUK
RJWinUK

@3riiick - see above - and I'd add there is no evidence whatsoever that there is a God(s) so praying is doing exactly nothing.

RJWinUK
RJWinUK

@joenolan501 @RJWinUK - Using education as a tool to indoctrinate people into your religion so you can later benefit from this is not charitable work. The Catholic Church has paid out over $1 billion in the USA alone to victims of child abuse by priests. This child abuse was covered up from the very top of the church and priests were often simply moved where they could continue to abuse. There have been 10's of thousands more abused around the world but in third world nations the priests are never brought to trial. They ban condoms in Africa which helps the spread of AIDS and kills millions. The ban divorce even if the women is being raped in the Philippines and other nations and yet allow marriage at 13 years old. They give less to charitable causes globally that they save in tax in the USA alone. So no they are not a force for good in this world. 

StephenPhelan
StephenPhelan

@RJWinUK @joenolan501 stevenpal covered much of this, but please look up condom failure rates over time. After 100 uses the failure rate is almost identical to not using a condom at all (vis a vis exposure to virus). Those promoting condoms as a "solution" to HIV AIDS are the ones who have explaining to do (Google "Edward Green Harvard AIDS Africa"). and obviously the pope can't ban condoms. He teaches what any sane public health professional teaches: stop sleeping around and being stupid. Find one person you love, get married and promise to never be with another, and have all the sex you want, because sex is good. Sleeping around - with or without condoms - is dangerous, moron.

And when you're as mad at secular institutions such as public schools and teachers' unions for how they handle (or don't handle) sex abuse, then we'll know you're not just spewing hatred but actually care about the problem. Unions have still not had to answer for the continuing protection of abusers.

I am Catholic, and I am as angry as anyone about the abuse and the coverup. JPII was too trusting of too many and was slow to get the severity of the problem - for sure. Benedict has done much more than the secular media will ever cover to set standards in place, and to meet with victims. There have been only a tiny number of claims in the last 10 years, which, given the numbers of people involved, means that the Church may have finally gotten this right. Would that other institutions would be so rigorous and accountable.

stevenpal
stevenpal

@RJWinUK @joenolan501  The Catholic Church only has the authority to "ban" the use of condoms for those who follow their denomination. They don't own Africa. It is noteworthy that as a Christian Church, they also ban fornication and adultery. It is hard to blame the Church for spreading HIV (AIDS isn't spread, HIV is. AIDS is the disease that occurs later on) when the belief against extramarital sex would have prevented the problem to begin with.

As for the rest of it, rape does not equal marriage. If rape occurred and the community supported marriage, which by definition binds these two people for life, I would be looking at the communities who allowed this. Not the church, which condemns rape.

Finally, as for the abused children, this was a horrible thing that was handled HORRIBLY by the former Popes. Lets see if the new one will do better.

I should mention at this point I'm a Protestant (not a Catholic) and a medical student (not someone who decided to get wikipedia happy). The others were right to say the Catholic Church does a HUGE amount of medical good in this world. You have the right to condemn The Church for its mistakes (there are many), but maybe instead of just ranting in the comments, try to respect others beliefs. We get it. You don't like the Catholic Church. At least try to back your rants up with facts, or you actually weaken your position.


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