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Pope makes surprise visit to Little Sisters of the Poor, opponents of HHS mandate

September 24, 2015

Pope Francis made an unscheduled visit on September 23 to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the religious community locked in a court dispute with the Obama administration over the imposition of the HHS mandate.

“This is a sign, obviously, of support for them,” said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office. In this sense it is connected also to the words that the Pope has said in support of the bishops of the United States in the speech to President Obama. This was a little addition to the program, but I think it has an important meaning in this moment.

“The Holy Father spoke to each of us individually, from the youngest postulant to our centenarian, and then he spoke to all us about the importance of our ministry to the elderly,” said Sister Constance Veit. “We were deeply moved by his encouraging words.”



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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Sep. 25, 2015 3:57 PM ET USA

    A little symbolism over substance, don't you think? To really be effective, Pope Francis should have had a sit down with Obama to discuss what his government is doing to The Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian groups.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Sep. 24, 2015 10:14 PM ET USA

    Interestingly, I didn't see this visit featured in any of the major media news outlets. Perhaps I missed something; do ya think?