People with disability will now be able to access Pope Francis’ Wednesday and Sunday speeches in American Sign Language as part of a “no one left out” initiative announced by the Vatican towards the end of last month.
According to a member of the Alacantarine Franciscan Sisters Sr. Veronica Amata Donatello, everyone will now access the “Word of God and the words of the pope.”
“Because the Gospel and the words of the successors of Peter are addressed to all,” she told CAN.
Donatello is working with Vatican News to ensure the deaf access the pope’s message in Italian Sign Language (LIS) and American Sign Language (ASL).
The pope Wednesday’s general audience catechesis and Sunday Angelus or Regina Coeli prayer are now available via sign language.
The Franciscan sister said the church can take care of the disabled by, “as the Holy Father reminds us, putting those at the peripheries, the discarded, at the center, listening to them in the decision-making process, in the involvement of proposals.”
She said the church should stop holding events for people with disabilities, adding that they should be included in ordinary life.
“Even people with severe, complex disabilities have a ‘place’ and are active subjects,” she said. “Only by overcoming the pietistic and welfare point of view can one think of a Church for and with everyone.”
National Service for the Pastoral Care of People with Disabilities headed by Donatello was formed recently by the Italian bishops’ conference.