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Pope charmed by ‘undisciplined’ hearing impaired child

A child plays with a Swiss guard in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Nov. 28, 2018. AP

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has praised the freedom — albeit undisciplined — of a hearing-impaired child who climbed onto the stage to play during the pontiff’s general audience.

The Swiss Guards and Vatican gendarmes stood by Wednesday and gamely let the young boy run around Francis as monsignors read out his catechism lesson in various languages in the Vatican audience hall.

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When Francis took the microphone, he explained in Spanish to the crowd that the child was hearing and speech impaired. “But he knows how to communicate, to express himself.”

He added: “And he has something that made me think: He’s free. Undiciplined-ly free, but he’s free. It made me think, ‘Am I so free before God?’”

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As the crowd applauded, Francis ended by praying for the boy. /ee

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