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Deafness is not a hindrance

The culture of encounter of Pope Francis


  On the 29th of March onA.I.R. took part in the papal hearing organized by Piccola Missione dei Sordomuti and Movimento Apostolico Ciechi, both of them welcomed warmly in Città del Vaticano. The subtitling in real time broadcasted by onA.I.R. gave the chance to whoever was connected to the web-site of the association to follow the meeting with the Holy Father. 











 The beautiful words spoken by Padre Delci da Conceição Filho moved us deeply. He stressed the need and the substance of working in order to reach the social inclusion of people sensorially disadvantaged, and through his words he testified the appreciation about our activity.


 "If in this moment I asked the volunteers that are working in the subtitling in Italian to stop working, if I said to take the projector and that screen away, If I asked to stop the Internet broadcasting that allows your words and ours to reach the deaf that are using their smartphones to read the subtitles, If I told these Italian Sign Language interpreters, 64 volunteers, to stop signing basically 6.000 people in this room would be left with no communication. This is important to us. I have to say, Holy Father, that you talk of a Church that reaches out, with open doors, that moves outwards in order to reach the outskirts of mankind. In our parishes and in the dioceses all over the world, there are so many deaf people that find the church's doors closed! They are left with no catechisms, no sacraments, no community, no love. They can’t have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ because he is a stranger. There is no one to interpret for them, no one to subtitle for them in our churches."


 The hearing focused on the lack of services concerning the usability of the evangelical message in Italy by deaf people. Pope Francis spoke about two opposite cultures, the “culture of the encounter” and “the culture of excluding”. Beyond every prejudice, as the Pope said, 


 “disabled or ill people, with their fragility and limits, can testify the encounter with Jesus which leads to faith and essence of life. In fact, only people who are able to admit their limits can build up fraternal and generous relationships, in society as well as in the Church.”


 It’s our responsibility to make effective this “encounter”, employing every means we have to overcome physical and mental limits.


 onA.I.R. gave its services free of charge and is very proud of its participation to the hearing. Along with the association Cultarabile and the 64 LIS interpreter, we managed to captivate the interest of the audience. Projecting to the future, taking great incentives from this experience, onA.I.R. will be keeping on working towards the direction of communication and openness, with much greater diligence.








 We’d like to sincerely thank: the president of Piccola Missione per i Sordomuti Padre Delci da Conceição Filho, who organized the hearing and embraced our proposition; the Centro Telesivo Vaticano (CTV), which made available the streaming and the cameras; the audio system of Vatican Radio; the management of the Vatican telecommunications, which installed Internet in our workspace; the staff of Sala Nervi and their help; SyNTHEMA and Nicola Piccinini for making available the respeaking software on-line.


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