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  • What would you ask Pope Francis?

    So many of our readers commented on how touching was the video of Pope Francis hugging and consoling a young boy in the suburbs of Rome.

    Emanuele was chosen as one of a few children in the struggling neighborhood to ask a question of the pope. When it was his turn, he couldn’t make the ask. He tried, but even after one of the priests encouraged him, he just couldn’t do it and began to cry.

    The pope told him to come to him and whisper it in his ear. Helped up onto the stage, Emanuele found himself in a full-on papal hug, his head burrowed into the pope’s shoulder.

    Emanuele asked if his father, who had died, was in heaven. There’s been a bit of discussion on the question and the pope’s response, but aside from that, it got me thinking. What if I were standing in front of the pope, or even more amazing, inside a papal hug, being told to whisper my question in his ear, what would I ask?

    It would be hard to limit myself to one question. Being a journalist, I already have a list should the occasion arise. I went around the Catholic Herald newsroom and asked a few of our staffers what they would ask.

    Mary Stachyra Lopez hesitated, thought and smiled saying, “I could really use the hug.”

    Staff Writer Zoey Maraist laughed and said she would thank him for being pope. “I’d thank him for his encyclicals that he’s given us.”

    “And maybe a few reporter questions about church politics,” she added quickly. “But I speak a little Spanish … Argentina’s great.”

    Multimedia Designer Ashleigh Kassock’s face lit up at the prospect. “It’s less of a question than telling him, ‘You are loved. We love you. Pray for us. I’m praying for you.’ ”

    Staff Writer Beth Elliott looked off into the distance, smiled and said she would ask, if “all is forgiven in heaven? Are old grudges released in heaven?” I asked Beth to tell me what she would tell someone else who might ask her that same question. “Everything is whole in heaven. All the hurts are healed.”

    Multimedia Journalist George Goss wants to ask the pope if he plans to return to his hometown in Argentina to visit. “It must be a cross, to minister to the world but not your own people.”

    What would you ask Pope Francis?


    © Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

    @Ann M. Augherton