(WB) The Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported that during the weekly papal audience in St. Peter’s Basilica on Aug. 10, Pope Francis met with a fourth group of transgender people who are staying in a church on the outskirts of Rome.
Sister Genevieve Jeanningros and the Rev. Andrea Conocchia told L’Osservatore Romano that this was the fourth papal audience since the Blessed Immaculate Virgin Church in the Torvaianica neighborhood of Rome’s suburbs opened its doors to trans people during the coronavirus pandemic.
L’Osservatore Romano noted that the pope previously met with some of the trans residents sheltering in the church on April 27, June 22 and Aug. 3.
“No one should encounter injustice or be thrown away, everyone has dignity of being a child of God,” the paper quoted Jeanningros as saying.
Francis has earned praise from some members of the LGBTQ and intersex community for his outreach.
When asked in 2013 about a purportedly gay priest, he replied, “Who am I to judge?” He has met individually and in groups with trans people over the course of his pontificate the Associated Press reported.
But he has strongly opposed “gender theory” and has not changed church teaching that holds that same-sex sexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” In 2021, he allowed publication of a Vatican document asserting that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions since “God cannot bless sin,” the AP noted.