Pope charmed as boy climbs on stage to play

Elias Hubbard
November 29, 2018

Raw video: Little boy, who is mute, runs onto altar past Pope Francis and tugs on Swiss guard's sleeve during the weekly audience in Vatican City. She reportedly explained to the Pope that her son is mute - and to the surprise of crowds, Pope Francis told the mother and security to let the child continue playing.

Pope Francis and Archbishop George Gaenswein share a laugh as a child plays with a Swiss guard after getting up to the area where the pontiff was sitting during his weekly general audience, in the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

Pope Francis said the young boy made him think of himself.

When Francis took the microphone, he explained in Spanish to the crowd that the child was speech-impaired.

"This child can not speak. Unruly ... but he is free", he added to laughter. As the presumably very embarrassed mother exited the stage, Francis smiled and could be seen leaning towards Bishop Georg Ganswein, whispering that the boy "is Argentinian. He has to express himself, and we live without hiding his problems", he said, according to the AP. "And he has something that got me thinking: he is free".

"When Jesus says we have to be like children, it means we need to have the freedom that a child has before his father".

Wirth's father, Ariel Wirth, told the Associated Press that his son has speech limitations and behavioral issues, and "we try to let him be free".

"Let's ask the grace (of God) that he may speak".

The family lives in Verona and came to Rome just for Wednesday's general audience. "We try to let him be free". Wirth said Wenzel was exhausted after the long journey and long wait for the pope Wednesday morning, and clearly needed to run around.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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