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Pope Francis has lunch with Rome’s poor who tell him ‘what they expect from the Church’

Pope Francis at the Synod on Synodality on Oct. 6, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Vatican City, Oct 11, 2023 / 10:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis dined with a group of Rome’s poor at his Vatican residence on Tuesday during the second week of the Synod on Synodality.

Like the synod assembly participants, the lunch guests were asked “what they expect from the Church,” Paolo Ruffini, president of the synod’s Commission for Information, told journalists Oct. 11.

“Their answer, it was said, was ‘love, only love,’” Ruffini said.

The Vatican communications official called the lunch “a little ‘circolo minore’ in Casa Santa Marta.” Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the pope’s almoner, was also present for the meal.

According to another synod communications official, the poor were one of the major topics of the synod’s discussions Oct. 10.

“A theme that came up quite strongly was the poor, the desire for a Church that is pro-poor, that is humble, that lowers herself, that walks with the poor,” Sheila Leocádia Pires, the secretary for the Commission for Information, said at a synod press briefing Oct. 11.

“We have to bear in mind that the poor have many faces and that [they] are usually excluded or may be excluded from society,” she added, noting that according to some synod members, “the poor are excluded more than any other group experiencing exclusion.”

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