(UPDATED) “Where are the women?” Pope Francis asked the youth gathered at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila Sunday.
He paused, stared at the crowd, then shared that he was sad to see mostly men among them.
“Women have so much to tell us in this society,” the pope quipped. “Women are capable of seeing things from a different angle. Women are able to pose questions that we men cannot understand.”
Before his homily, 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar from Tulay ng Kabataan, a home for abandoned and abused children, asked Pope Francis why kids suffer before bursting into tears.
Glyzelle was one of the two street kids chosen to speak before the pope at today’s gathering at the UST grounds.
She shared her story, telling how children like her, abandoned by their parents, got into drugs and prostitution. "Why does God allow bad things to happen to us when it's not our fault?"
She further asked in Filipino: "Why do a few people help us?"
The pope, referring to Glyzelle, said, “She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer. She was not even able to express it in words but rather in tears.”
Urging the crowd to "learn how to weep as she [Glyzelle] has shown us today," he said no one should be afraid to cry. "Certain realities in life, we only see through eyes that are cleansed by our tears. If you don't learn how to cry, you can't be a good Christian."
That, he said, is the challenge.
“So when the next pope comes, please, there should be more women, girls among the numbers," Pope Francis hoped.
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