Pope Shares Laughter with special needs teens

by | Feb 8, 2015 | Pope

Papal hangoutTech-savvy Pope shares laughter, advice with special needs kids From CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis virtually joined seven young people with disabilities and special needs in his second Google Hangout as pontiff, sharing jokes, advice and encouragement.

“Each one of us has a treasure inside,” the Pope told the young people during his Feb. 5 Google Hangout.

He said that when “we share our own treasure with others, it multiples along with the treasures that come from the others we meet.”

“What I want to say is don’t hide the treasure that each one of you has. Sometimes we find it right away. Sometimes you have to do a little game of treasure hunt. But once you find it, share it, because when you share it you receive from others and it multiplies.”

He encouraged the youth to continue moving forward, saying that what they are doing “helps all of us to understand that life is a beautiful treasure, but it only makes sense if we give it.”

The seven young people who participated in the hangout session with Pope Francis hail from all corners of the world, including Spain, India, Brazil and the United States.

Among the four participants from Spain were Isabel, 13, who is blind; Bautista, 12, who has autism; and 17-year-old Alicia and Elvira, who both have Down syndrome.

Other participants included 13-year-old Manosh from India, who is deaf; Pedro from Brazil, who has a congenital malformation; and Isaiah from the United States, who has a type of growth disorder which affects his motor skills.

Each participant had the opportunity to speak spontaneously to the Pope without a text, telling him about themselves and how they use technology to help them with their disabilities.

Pope Francis, in turn, responded to each one personally, and spoke briefly after they had all finished about treasure each one of them possesses.

The conversation included serious advice, but also moments of lighthearted banter.

When asked by Alicia if he liked to take pictures and download them onto the computer, Pope Francis responded with a jest, saying “to tell you the truth, I’m like a dummy with the machine. I don’t know how to work the computer. How embarrassing, eh?”

Isaiah, who joined in from Nebraska, asked the Pope what he does when he faces something difficult. The Pope responded by saying that “first of all I try not to get angry. (I try) to be calm.”

“Afterward I try to look for a way to overcome it. And if I can’t overcome, I endure it until I see a way of overcoming it,” he said.

“We must never be afraid. We are all capable of overcoming (difficult situations). We only need time to understand, intelligence to look for the way and courage to go forward. But never be afraid.”

The hangout session was organized by the educational foundation Scholas Occurentes during their Feb. 2-5 global congress in Rome.