This is the touching moment Pope Francis comforted a grieving boy who was worried his father didn’t go to heaven as he was an atheist.
The boy, known only as Emanuele, broke down in tears as he approached the microphone to take part in a Q&A session with the pontiff who visited the St. Paul of the Cross parish on the outskirts of Rome on Sunday.
According to The National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis told the crowd that Emanuele’s father, who had recently passed away, was a ‘good man’ but hadn’t believed in god.
And he reassured the heartbroken boy that his late father was in heaven because god is ‘surely proud of him’.
A young boy, known only as Emanuele, broke down in tears as he approached the pope to ask a question during a Q&A at St. Paul of the Cross parish on the outskirts of Rome
The touching moment took place when Emanuele broke down while trying
Unable to get his words out, the Pope beckoned him to come forward and whisper the question and they pair had a private chat and shared a hug.
With Emanuele’s permission, the Pope told the crowd that the boy had shown ‘courage’ to cry in front of everyone.
‘If that man was able to make his children like that, then it’s true, he was a good man.
After Emanuele broke down in tears, the pope listened to his story and offered him a hug
The youngster was overcome with emotion over his late father as he approached the pontiff during a Q&A
“That man did not have the gift of faith, he wasn’t a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart,” Francis said.
He explained that god makes the decision on who is welcomed into heaven and said that he has ‘a dad’s heart’.
Describing Emanuele’s father, he said: ‘Do you think God would be able to leave him far from himself? Does God abandon his children when they are good?
The children in the crowd shouted back: ‘No.’
‘There, Emanuele, that is the answer,’ the pope told Emanuele. ‘God surely was proud of your father.’
Pope Francis met Emanuele at the San Paolo della Croce parish in Corviale, a suburb of Rome, during a pastoral visit