Pope Francis embraced weeping mothers, fathers and children with Huntington’s Disease on Thursday as he sought to remove the stigma of an incurable genetic disorder that causes such devastating physical and psychiatric effects that its sufferers are often shunned and abandoned.
One by one, Francis blessed and greeted each of the family members and their caregivers who traveled from around the world for the audience, which organizers said represented the first time a world leader had recognized the plight of those who suffer from Huntington’s.
“May none of you ever feel you are alone,” Francis told them. “May none of you feel you are a burden. May no one feel the need to run away.”
“You are precious in the eyes of God. You are precious in the eyes of the church.”