Pope tells separated and divorced women “The Church welcomes and embraces you.”


Cardinal John Dew has posted a link on his Facebook page about a meeting Pope Francis had last Monday with a group of 35 separated and divorced women.

One participant said afterwards Francis told them “the Church welcomes and embraces us.”

“Pope Francis was well known in Buenos Aires for being among the people,” said Dew in his post.

“He has found many ways to continue the encounter with people that is at the heart of his spirituality and his approach to being Pope.”

“The people who might feel they are ‘on the peripheries’ of the Church are very dear to him and he actively creates opportunities to meet with them.”

Isabel Díaz, who took part in the meeting, said Pope Francis told them that, with their experience, they can help others who are separated and divorced live through their suffering, and “above all, he underlined repeatedly that the Church welcomes and embraces us.”

””It gave me the feeling that we were meeting with the “Santa Teresa” group, in the parish of San Juan de la Cruz in Toledo, all in a circle.”

“The only difference was the pope was with us. A generous pope, humble and at the same time affectionate. A pope then that made you want to hug him. I have the desire to hug him.” Díaz said.

The 95 minute private audience would  likely have gone unnoticed, if it wasn’t for the fact that the diocese sponsoring the trip wrote about it on its website.

Last April, the Archbishop of the Spanish diocese of Toledo, Braulio Rodríguez, handed Francis a letter.

It had been was written by women who participate in the “Santa Teresa” group, run by the Commission of Family and Life of the diocese.

After reading the letter, Francis invited them to Rome.


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