Four trans groups who found shelter with the Catholic Church have met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
According to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Pope met with a group on Wednesday the 10th of August, following other meetings with other trans groups on the 27th of April, 22nd of June and the 3rd of August.
The groups had found shelter during the coronavirus pandemic in the Blessed Immaculate Virgin community, located in the Torvaianica neighbourhood of Rome.
Speaking about the meetings, Sister Genevieve Jeanningros and local priest Andrea Conocchia explained that the meetings with the Pope had given the group hope.
“No one should encounter injustice or be thrown away; everyone has dignity of being a child of God,” said Jeanningros, according to the Vatican newspaper.
The meetings follow the Popes 2020 decision to approve donations to a group of trans sex workers who had approached the Blessed Immaculate Virgin community.
Father Conocchia explained that the community of trans women had suffered during the pandemic.
“I would say that we treat these (transgender) people as if they were invisible.
“If the coronavirus had never happened, I might have never met them in person, they might have never asked for help in a church, and maybe we wouldn’t have had the chance to dialogue, know each other and share.”
Despite small acts of apparent progress, it must also be noted that Pope Francis has done little to change Church policy around the LGBTQ+ community, with the Catechism of the Catholic Church still stating that same-sex relationships are “acts of great depravity” and adds: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Contradictorily in 2013, when asked for his thoughts on LGBTQ+ Catholics, Pope Francis responded: “Who am I to judge?” while in 2021, the Vatican ruled against priests being able to bless same-sex unions saying that they “cannot bless sin.”