14-January-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope Expresses Support for People with Disabilities

Assures Italian Parliamentarian of His Participation and Encouragement

VATICAN CITY, January 13, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis has assured a disabled Italian parliamentarian of his support and encouragement for people with disabilities and those who care for them.

The Holy Father received in private audience Jan. 11 Italian member of Parliament Ileana Argentin, known for her commitment to issues related to disability.

According to the Holy See Press Office, Argentin, herself disabled, wrote a letter to the Pope requesting the opportunity to speak with him about various issues related to disability.

The Holy Father responded promptly, inviting her to meet with him this morning in the Apostolic Palace.

Argentin spoke principally on the importance of supporting the parents of seriously disabled people, who experience great anxiety about what may happen to their children after their own deaths, and the difficulties their siblings may encounter in assuming the responsibility of care. Other issues were also considered, such as the need to overcome barriers of accessibility to disabled people in public and Church buildings.

Pope Francis showed "great interest" in the issues brought to his attention by Argentin, the Vatican said. He also "cordially assured her of his participation in initiatives and encouragement for all persons dedicated to confronting the problems linked to disability with increasing commitment and awareness."

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