Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 28, 2013 / 08:48 am (CNA).- A child born with anencephaly, lacking part of her skull and brain, was welcomed by Pope Francis during the offertory at Mass this morning as a gesture of welcome and offering a life to God.
Pope Francis met the newborn girl's parents following his Mass with consecrated persons yesterday, July 27. They presented their daughter to him as he was leaving the cathedral of Rio de Janeiro.
Even though the abortion of unborn children with anencephaly is permitted in Brazil, the couple wished to welcome the gift of life, and her mother bore her.
Most children with anencephaly are stillborn or die within a few days of birth, though one person with the condition has lived at least three years.
Pope Francis blessed the child and her parents during today's Mass on Copacabana beach, when they presented the gifts at the offertory.