By Oriana Boselli, Antonio Denti and Philip Pullella
TORVAIANICA, Italy/VATICAN CITY (RockedBuzz through Reuters) – The dilapidated seaside city of Torvaianica lies about 35 km (20 miles) south of the Vatican.
But for the transgender women who reside there it appeared gentle years away till the rapprochement with the Catholic Church started throughout the Covid-19 lockdown and led to an invite to lunch with Pope Francis on Sunday.
Claudia Victoria Salas, 55, and Carla Segovia, 46, each from Argentina, have been amongst a gaggle of transgender individuals, amongst some 1,200 poor and homeless individuals, who attended the church’s World Day of the Poor lunch.
To her shock, Salas, a former prostitute, discovered herself sitting throughout from the pope, additionally Argentinian, at the major desk in the auditorium, the place the pontiff holds basic audiences in the winter.
“We transgenders right here in Italy feel a bit of extra human as a result of the indisputable fact that Pope Francis brings us nearer to the Church is an exquisite factor,” Carla Segovia, 46, a prostitute, mentioned earlier this week on the abandoned seaside and sucker of Torvaianica.
“Because we need a little love,” he mentioned.
Last week, the Vatican’s doctrinal workplace launched a press release saying transgender individuals may be godparents at Roman Catholic baptisms, witnesses at spiritual weddings and be baptized themselves.
LGBT rights advocates in the church welcomed the transfer whereas conservatives condemned it, accusing Francis of sending complicated indicators about sexual morality to the devoted.
Francis, 86, has sought to make the Church extra welcoming to the LGBT group with out altering Church teachings, together with one that claims same-sex attraction isn’t sinful however gay acts are.
At the top of the COVID-19 pandemic, Father Andrea Conocchia, parish priest of the parish of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate in Torvaianica, helped the transgender group with meals and different help.
At the time, the parish’s sources have been restricted as a result of many individuals have been minimize off from earnings, so Conocchia requested for assist from the cardinal who runs the pope’s charities.
In addition to sending cash, the cardinal organized for them to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations at the Vatican and meet with the Pope.
“For us he is our saint,” Salas mentioned of Conocchia final week.
On Sunday, Conocchia arrived at the Vatican on a bus with about fifty poor individuals from his parish, together with transgender individuals, each foreign-born and Italian.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us transsexuals,” Segovia mentioned as he entered the auditorium. “I ship the Pope a giant kiss”.
(Writing by Philip Pullella; modifying by Barbara Lewis)