Rome

Pope tells mourning boy his atheist dad is in heaven

Moving moment as Francis visits socially deprived Rome district

Pope tells mourning boy his atheist dad is in heaven

Rome, April 16 - There were emotional scenes when Pope Francis visited one of Rome's most socially deprived districts on Sunday as the pontiff tried to comfort a boy who was mourning the loss of his atheist father. The boy, Emanuele, started to cry during the papal visit to the parish of San Paolo della Croce in the Corviale district, and the pope encouraged him to come up and whisper what was troubling him. "He is crying for his father," the pope said, adding that he has asked Emanuele permission to reveal what they had spoken about. "His father passed away recently, he was atheist, but he had all four of his children christened, he was a good man and he asked if he was in heaven. "How lovely that a child says that his dad was good. "It is a beautiful testimony to that man and it is a beautiful testimony that he had the courage to cry here in front of us all. "He did not have the gift of the faith, but he had his children baptized, he had a good heart and so how would God's heart be before a father like this? "God has the heart of a father and before a non-believer dad who baptized his children, do you think He would be able to leave him from away from Him? "No. There you are Emanuele. That is my answer".

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