Pope Francis was not one bit fazed when a 6-year-old boy somehow dodged security and wandered up onto the papal stage during the pontiff’s general audience at the Vatican Wednesday. In a wonderfully spontaneous moment, the boy, Wenzel Wirth, was captured storming up the grand steps before lazily sauntering up to one of the Vatican guards.
Adorable moment as a boy climbed onto the stage as the Pope spoke in Vatican City—drawing laughter and cheers.
Officers let him run around as the boy's mother explained to the Pope that he is speech and hearing-impaired. https://t.co/TXiT2AJJbC pic.twitter.com/HpbSZl8HAi
— ABC News (@ABC) November 28, 2018
Throughout the hilarious encounter, Francis smiled warmly, even breaking into laughter as the boy, without a care in the world, explored the stage nonchalantly. Then, suddenly, a woman rushed over to the child. It was Wenzel’s mother. She quickly apologized to the pontiff and his fellow official, noting that her son was impaired and couldn’t speak.
“Let him be, let him be,” Francis responded, according to NBC News.
The mother quickly retreated and allowed Wenzel to keep playing. At that point, Pope Francis, himself an Argentinian, leaned over to his right-hand bishop and whispered jokingly, “He is Argentinian. Undisciplined.”
Returning to the microphone, Pope Francis took the opportunity to challenge both himself and those in attendance.
“This child cannot speak. He is mute. But he can communicate,” Francis said. “And he has something that made me think: He’s free. Undisciplined-ly free, but he’s free.”
“It made me think, ‘Am I so free before God?'”
A wonderful moment indeed.