Pope Francis bonds with transgender women invited to Vatican luncheon: ‘I send the pope a big kiss!’

Pope Francis bonded with a group of transgender women he hosted at a Vatican luncheon last week in celebration of the church’s World Day of the Poor.

(Video Credit: Associated Press)

Approximately 1,200 of those who live in poverty or are homeless attended the meal which was held inside the papal audience hall according to the Associated Press. Many of the transgender women at the luncheon were reportedly sex workers and migrants from Latin America.

“Thanks to the local parish priest [in the Italian town of Torvaianica], these women now make monthly visits to Francis’ Wednesday general audiences, where they are given VIP seats. On any given day, they receive handouts of medicine, cash, and shampoo. When COVID-19 struck, the Vatican bussed them into its health facility so they could be vaccinated ahead of most Italians…” the AP reported.

“‘Before, the church was closed to us. They didn’t see us as normal people, they saw us as the devil,’ said Andrea Paola Torres Lopez, a Colombian transgender woman known as Consuelo, whose kitchen is decorated with pictures of Jesus. ‘Then Pope Francis arrived and the doors of the church opened for us,’” the media outlet added.

The pope has evidently embraced the transgender movement. He issued guidance from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith which declared that transgenders could be accepted for baptism and serve as godparents. LGBTQ+ advocates have lavished praise on the move.

“Carla Segovia, a 46-year-old Argentine sex worker, said for transgender women like herself, being a godparent is the closest thing she will ever get to having a child of her own. She said that the new norms made her feel more comfortable about maybe one day returning fully to the faith that she was baptized in but fell away from after coming out as trans,” the Associated Press wrote.

“‘This norm from Pope Francis brings me closer to finding that absolute serenity,’ she said, which she feels is necessary to be fully reconciled with the faith,” the news outlet continued.

Claudia Vittoria Salas, a 55-year-old transgender tailor and house cleaner from Argentina, was seated across from Francis.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us transexuals,” Salas said, according to the Daily Mail. “I send the Pope a big kiss!”

Pope Francis has had a connection with transgender women dating back to 2020. The group petitioned Fr. Andrea Conocchia for help during the pandemic because they could not find work.

“‘The pages of the letters of the first four were bathed in tears,’ he recalled. ‘Why? Because they told me ‘Father, I’m ashamed, I can’t tell the pope what I have done, how I have lived,’” the AP said.

“But they did, and the first assistance arrived from the pope’s chief almsgiver, who then accompanied the women for their COVID-19 vaccines a year later. At the time of the pandemic, many of the women weren’t legally allowed to live in Italy and had no access to the vaccine,” the outlet recounted.

The pope addressed LGBTQ+ issues that came up at the Synod assembly in October. An Italian broadcaster asked him if he was happy with the way gay individuals were discussed.

“When I say ‘everyone, everyone, everyone,’ it’s the people. The church receives people, everyone, and does not ask what you are. Then, within the church, everyone grows and matures in their Christian belonging. It’s true that today it’s a bit fashionable to talk about this. The church receives everyone,” the pope replied.

One of the transgender women, Andrea Paola Torres Lopez, remarked, “At least they remember us, that we’re on Earth and we haven’t been abandoned and left to the mercy of the wind.”


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