A 12-year-old girl identified as Glycelle Aries Palomar (rescued from the streets by a Filipino non-governmental organization) tearfully asked Pope Francis during a meeting with young people in Philippines on Sunday, January 18, 2015 why God allowed suffering by children.
“Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution. Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.”
“Why is God allowing something like this to happen, even to innocent children? And why are there so few who are helping us?”
Listening to her quietly and visibly moved, the Pope couldn’t offer a direct reply but got up and gave her a hug instead.
The pope later responded by telling her that her question barely had an answer.
He said, “Only when we are able to cry are we able to come close to responding to your question.”
“There are some realities that you can only see through eyes that are cleansed by tears.”
I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, ‘Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave?,” he added.