The Pope invited a group of trans women for pasta, meatballs and tiramisu

The Pope dines with trans women

Pope Francis recently sat down for lunch with a group of trans women, who were treated like the VIPs they are, in a bid to offer them comfort and support.

The Pope, who in November said that trans people may be baptised and act as godparents or witnesses to marriage under the same conditions as any other adult, further acquainted himself with the group of trans women over an annual lunch. 

The group of trans women, who all had a history of personally interacting the pontiff, were joined by 1000 poor and homeless guests to mark the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor. 

Together they dined richly on cannelloni pasta filled with spinach and ricotta and meatballs in a tomato-basil sauce, served with a cauliflower puree. Dessert was equally indulgent in the form of tiramisu and petit fours. 

Pope Francis during lunch with the poor on the occasion of the VII World Day of the Poor in the Paul VI Hall. Vatican City (Vatican), November 19th, 2023. (Photo by Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

The Pope invited the women in order to offer them comfort and support, and ensured they received VIP treatment. In fact one of the trans women, Claudia Vittoria Salas – a former sex worker – was seated at the table with the Pope himself.

Salas, who is a godparent to three of her nieces and nephews in her home country, Argentina, said she did sex work in order to put her children through school.

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She told the Associated Press: “Being a godparent is a big responsibility; it’s taking the place of the mother or father. It’s not a game. 

“You have to choose the right people who will be responsible and capable when the parents aren’t around to send the kids to school and provide them with food and clothes.”

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The Pope developed a relationship with the trans women during the pandemic when they called on the Church of England for help. 

Pope Francis during lunch with the poor on the occasion of the VII World Day of the Poor in the Paul VI Hall. Vatican City (Vatican), November 19th, 2023. (Photo by Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Help was provided in the form of vaccinations against Covid, due to many of the women being Latin American immigrants who were not able to get vaccinated in Italy. 

The women now attend the Pope’s general audience monthly and are given VIP seating. 

Trans woman Consuelo, who is from Colombia, said, as reported by LGBTQ+ Nation: “Before, the church was closed to us. They didn’t see us as normal people, they saw us as the devil. 

“Then Pope Francis arrived and the doors of the church opened for us.”

Pope Francis regularly uses his position to push for the church’s acceptance and support of LGBTQ+ people.

In October, the pope was praised for saying that same-sex couples could have their unions blessed. 

His comment comes amid the Bishop of London saying that same-sex couple blessing services in the Church of England are unlikely to take place before 2025, as the church remains divided. 

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Back in January, the pontiff reminded followers that “homosexuality is not a crime” and that countries who criminalise same-sex relationships are “unjust” in doing so.

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