Weeping girl moves pontiff

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SPECIAL HUG Pope Francis embraces Glyzelle Palomar and another child during his encounter with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas. AFP PHOTO

SPECIAL HUG Pope Francis embraces Glyzelle Palomar and another child during his encounter with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas. AFP PHOTO

A weeping 12-year-old girl, asking how God could allow children to become prostitutes, moved Pope Francis on Sunday to hug her and appeal for everyone to show more compassion.

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Glyzelle Palomar, a one-time homeless child taken in by a church charity, made her emotional plea during a meeting with the Pope on Sunday at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

“Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution,” Palomar told the Pope as she stood on stage alongside a 14-year-old boy who also used to be homeless.

“Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.”

Palomar broke down and wept profusely, prompting the 78-year-old pontiff with a man-of-the-people reputation to take her into his arms and hug her for a few seconds.

The Pope later discarded most of his prepared speech that he was due to give in English, reverting back to his native Spanish to deliver an impromptu and heartfelt response.

“She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer and she wasn’t even able to express it in words but in tears,” he told a crowd that organizers said reached 30,000.

“The nucleus of your question . . . almost doesn’t have a reply.”

The Pope said the topic of Palomar’s question showed women were not adequately represented in society.

“Women have much to tell us in today’s society. Sometimes, we are too ‘machista’ and we don’t allow room for the woman,” he added.

“Women are capable of seeing things with a different angle from us. Women are able to pose questions that we men cannot understand.”

AFP

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6 Comments

  1. A weeping Glyzelle Palomar said “Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution. Why does God allow these things to happen?”. Tough question for which Pope Francis could only say “for which there is no answer….”.

    I believe that God does not want us to suffer. It is us, because of our sins and shortcomings, who make ourselves suffer. At first, Adam and Eve had everything they needed and they did not suffer. But because they disobeyed God, they and their children suffered; and now us, suffer. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.

    Why do many Filipino parents abandon their children? Why are there 20,000 to 30,000 street children in Metro Manila alone? Why do 25 million Filipinos survive on just 60 cents or less a day? Why is it that 54% of our 101 million population are poor? Aside from rampant graft and corruption in our government, the other reason I could think of why there is too much poverty and suffering in our country is due to Filipino couples having too many children that they cannot afford to feed, clothe, shelter and educate. Why should couples have 5 or more children when they can feed just one or two kids? Are Filipino parents this uncaring that they abandon their children to become criminals and prostitutes? I don’t think so. We are a God-fearing and a Catholic nation, aren’t we? The poor abandon their children because they do not have the means to provide for them. Should we then blame God if people suffer because of the irresponsibility of their parents and because their rulers are mostly thieves?

    I believe that we must have a well-thought-of and well-funded RH Law that will help parents to plan families and provide well for their children. It is better having just one or two kids who will grow up to be responsible citizens, instead of having five or more children who will just end up as street children, or as young criminals and…

  2. Really, it’s very difficult to answer to that so very basic question. But one thing we should never forget: God gave us that element for man/woman to mold his/her character. He gave us free will since in his being all-knowing and almighty, man/woman should themselves chart their respective destinies. God doesn’t not want to make a robot out of us. But God knows our weaknesses that make us susceptible to satan’s temptations. That’s why we have a guiding spirit; a conscience that reminds but never dictates us what to do. Philippine society as a whole is greatly responsible for the poor girl’s predicament. A society that promotes corruption and apathy to the poor and marginalized. If only this and all the past governments, which incidentally are and were hoisted by our society, worked hard to set up economic infrastructures that allow decent jobs for our citizens, this stigma could not happened in a large scale. Pope Francis, being so respectful to his host never uttered the most possible answer. But our president, during the reception at Malacanang Palace, gave the hint of an answer. He blamed the past administration and some in the catholic hierarchy, but as usual absolving himself, for the prevalence of graft and corruption. Pope Francis, in his goodness never said that the root of poverty and sufferings enveloping this poor nation is the absence of decent jobs or job opportunities. His theme ‘”Mercy and Compassion” indeed should strike the cords in the innermost part of our hearts, most esoecially the hearts of the ruling elite. Greed and selfishness is so strong to topple down.

  3. apolonio reyes on

    Nakikinig ako sa radio habang hinihintay ko ang missis ko sa palengke at napaiyak ako ng nagsalita si Glyzelle Palomar, lumuluha ako hanga makauwi at iniisip ko din ” Bakit pinayagan ng Diyos maging prostitute ang mga bata sa ganitong murang idad ? “.
    Kagabi napanuod ko ang replay sa TV 9 at narinig ko sinabi ni Pope Francis na maski sya hindi nya alam sagutin ang tanong ng batang si Glyzelle Palomarat muli akong napaiyak ng Makita ko sa tv na hinakap nya ng mahigpit si Glyzelle. Nakakaintig di sinabi ni Pope Francis ” If you don’t know how to weep, you are not a Christian “.
    Kayong mga ExecuThieves, SenaTongs at Tongressmen na nagnakaw sa Kaban ng Bayan, na pera dapat para sa gaya ni Glyzelle, sa pamamagitan ng PDAF, DAP at CCT, naintig ba ang inyong puso at napaiyak? Kristiano ba kayo?

    • Correct ka diyan, Mr. Apolonio Reyes. Ang lakas ng influence ni Pope sating mga Pinoy na kahit hindi naman natin siya kilala ng lubusan, at ngayon lang natin siya nakita, nakakapukaw talaga ng damdamin. Lalo na yung eksena nung kay Glyzelle. Sa mura niyang edad naranasan na niyang mapagmalupitan siya ng mga masasamang loob. Kaya naitanong niya kung bakit pumapayag ang Diyos na may mangyare mga ganito sa mga batang walang malay sa mundo at walang kasalanan. Walang makakasagot niyan kundi ang panginoon lang talaga. Kahit ako nga, sa Tv ko lang siya nakita pero naiiyak na ako sa mga homily niya. Napaka lalim ng mga salita niya na iisipin mo nalang na magbago at maging mabuting tao.

  4. Unfortunately, indeed, women–despite having had two Philippine presidents–are represented in powerful decision-making and influential bodies and professions mainly by anti-Catholic or agnostic feminists who don’t value the Catholic Church’s Godly culture and doctrines that in fact exalt women.

    But the Pope had much more to say about this than your short news item tells your readers.