Francis to hold first Papal audience for blind, deaf

Historic audience

Later this month, Pope Francis will become the first pontiff to hold an exclusive audience with people who are blind and deaf, an encounter participants are highly anticipating, reports the Catholic News Agency.

'I am pleased that the Pope is making the whole world aware of our world by having an audience with us for the first time,' Jakob Badde told CNA on Monday. 'We have a great deficiency and most people do not know why and what it means to us.'

Badde hails from Germany – the son of Vatican journalist Paul Badde, Rome correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt – and is one of the members of the deaf community who will participate in the encounter with the Pope.

Scheduled on the calendar of the Holy See press office to take place on March 29 in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Badde explained that after investigation 'there has never been an official audience for the deaf.'

'There have probably always been deaf at (events of) other popes on the side. But a Pope has never invited us on the basis of being deaf.'

On the importance of such an encounter for the deaf and blind communities, Badde emphasised that 'we all do live a full life with joy and sorrow and we constantly communicate with each other. That is why the meeting with the Pope is of utmost importance.'

FULL STORY Pope to hold first official audience with the blind, deaf (Catholic News Agency)

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