Death

‘Is dad in heaven?’ little boy asks pope

Pope Francis embraced Emanuele, a boy whose father died, as he visited St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Rome April 15. Emanuele hesitated to ask his question, but the pope encouraged him to speak privately to the pope, who then shared his question.

ROME — After circling a massive, crumbling public housing complex on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis had an emotional encounter with the neighborhood's children.

Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis' parish visits. And, at St. Paul of the Cross parish April 15, there were the usual questions like, "How did you feel when you were elected pope?"

But then it was Emanuele's turn. The young boy smiled at the pope as he approached the microphone. But then froze. "I can't do it," Emanuele said.

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