National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Francis kisses, holds man with neurofibromatosis

A series of photos of Pope Francis embracing a man with neurofibromatosis (a condition long associated with the 'Elephant Man' Joseph Carey Merrick) has captured the imagine of a global audience.

pope_embrace_0.jpgThe images are being shared widely in social media, and I have received multiple requests to post images to our site.

NCR, however, respects intellectual property rights of writers and photographers, and since the services that we buy photos from have not made the images available to us yet I don't really have anything to post. 

The best I can do is post a screen grab of the website of the Mail Online, which does have the images.

If we obtain rights to better images, I will do my best to share them with NCR Readers.

Read our new blog series, La Iglesia Hispana, focusing on Hispanic Catholics, the church's new emerging majority.

This is from the Mail Online:

Pope Francis concluded Wednesday's general audience in St Peter's Square in Rome by kissing a man covered in growths and joining him in prayer.

Photos of the pontiff embracing the severely disfigured man have gone viral online, with commenters praising the pope for his compassion and kindness.

In Italian press, the pope has drawn comparisons to his illustrious namesake, St Francis of Assisi - a revered 13th century holy figure, who according to legend kissed a leper he had encountered on a road after receiving a message from God.

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