Pope Francis recently shared a meal with a group of trans women, offering comfort and support while showing them the respect they deserve. Earlier this November, he had already stated that trans individuals could be baptized and serve as godparents or witnesses to marriage, a right only previously given to non-LGBT people.
During the annual lunch, the Pope got to know the group of trans women. These women had personal interactions with the Pope prior to the invitation for lunch. They were joined by guests who were poor and homeless to observe the Catholic Church’s World day of the Poor.
The menu included cannelloni pasta with spinach and ricotta, meatballs in a tomato-basil sauce, and a cauliflower puree. For dessert, the guests were served tiramisu and petit fours. The Pope invited the trans women to provide them with comfort and support, ensuring they were treated as VIPs. Notably, one of the trans women, Claudia Vittoria Salas, a former sex worker, had the honor of sitting at the table with the Pope himself.
Salas, who serves as a godparent to three nieces and nephews in Argentina shared that she had turned to sex work to put the children through school. She emphasized the significant responsibility that being a godparent entailed: stepping into the role of the parent when needed.
During the pandemic, these trans women sought help from the Pope and the Church of England, receiving assistance in the form of COVID-19 vaccinations. Now these women attend the Pope’s general audience monthly. Another trans woman, Consuela, shares how the church was previously closed to them, but now has opened its doors under Pope Francis’ leadership. The Pope consistently advocates for the acceptance and support of LGBTQ+ individuals within the church. Pope Francis has been clear in his stance that “homosexuality is not a crime” and condemns countries that criminalize same-sex relationships.