Pope's heliport for kids' hospital

Francis expressed joy about deal with Bambino Gesù

(ANSA) - Rome, July 17 - The pope's heliport inside the Vatican will be made available to the nearby Bambino Gesù children's hospital for emergencies in Francis' latest move to put areas of the Holy See to use for the benefit of the community, including showers and barbers for the homeless in St Peter's colonnade.
    The move is the result of an agreement between the hospital and the Governorate of the State of Vatican City. Pope Francis felt "joy" and "expressed his goodwill for an agreement that will be of great help to the children," a Vatican statement said.
    In the agreement, the Governorate gives authorization for daytime and nighttime helicopter and air ambulance take-offs and landings leaving from or coming to the hospital, for serious pediatric emergencies and for cases that involve organ harvesting or transplant.
    The agreement is preliminary, pending insertion of the Vatican heliport into the region's emergency management network.
    The agreement was signed by Monsignor Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, secretary general of the Governorate, and Mariella Enoc, president of Bambin Gesù children's hospital.
    Enoc thanked the Holy See on behalf of "all the tiny patients from all over Italy, who unfortunately need to urgently reach our hospital".
    "It's an important gesture of charity that responds to a fundamental health need. The physical proximity between the State of Vatican City and our Janiculum Hill location, in fact, will allow for significant reduction in transport times, contributing in many cases to saving children's lives," Enoc said.
    The decision on the helipad comes after the pope unveiled plans last month to open a 30-bed, volunteer-run dormitory for the homeless, continuing in his papal ministry of reaching out to 'the disinherited of the earth', as he said on recent trips to various parts of the world.
    Earlier this month on a South American tour the pope reiterated his long-stated view that modern capitalism was leaving too many people behind and destroying much of God's Creation - as he eloquently illustrated in his recent 'green' encyclical Laudato si.
    Francis's approach has also been dubbed a 'theology of tears', or the ability to shed tears for other people in need.
    This 'theology of tears' has had a visible impact in St.
    Peter's Square this year, where in February a volunteer-run shower complex, funded by local parishes and furnished with three showers and a barber stall, opened its doors to the first homeless visitors.
    Monsignor Krajewski, a Polish archbishop who heads up the Vatican's Office of Papal Charities, said the entire initiative was aimed at "giving people their dignity".
    In his daily morning mass on the week that the shower complex for the homeless opened, Pope Francis said the gospel should be shared "in poverty" and added that "salvation isn't a theology of prosperity".
    That same day in February, following nearly a week of unusually rainy weather in the Italian capital and Vatican City, the pope had 300 umbrellas distributed to the homeless in St.
    Peter's Square.
    In March, the pontiff embraced 25 homeless people who travelled from Marseille to the Vatican for his weekly general audience.
    Ten days later, Pope Francis made a surprise visit at a Sistine Chapel tour organized by Msgr Krajewski for 150 homeless people, shaking hands with those he met.
    During his visit the pope said, "This is the house of all, it is your house. The doors are always open for all".
    Pope Francis also asked the homeless visitors to pray for him, and said, "I need the prayers of people like you." http://popefrancisnewsapp.com/