This isn’t going to look good for Catholic priests: The Vatican has routed money to a group of transgender sex workers in Italy who are struggling from a falloff in business due to the coronavirus.
The Italian LGBTQ newspaper Gay.it reported the sex workers in Torvaianica, near Rome, approached a parish priest last month and asked for money to buy food.
According to Reuters, the nationwide lockdown Italy’s government began on March 9 has depleted the parish’s resources. The priest therefore forwarded the trans sex workers’ plea to Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, overseer of the Vatican’s charitable giving. Krajewski then sent an undisclosed sum to the parish.
“I don’t understand why this is getting so much attention,” the cardinal told Reuters in an April 30 telephone interview. “This is ordinary work for the church; it’s normal. This is how the church is a field hospital.”
Gay.it said roughly 20 trans sex workers, mostly Latin Americans, received the donation. The Italian newspaper reported that many of them thanked Pope Francis in audio messages sent to Krajewski.
“In this case, the Pope made a human action,” Tiziana Fisichella, coordinator of Milan Pride, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday. “He looked beyond social stigma and took care of people forgotten by society.”
Forgotten by their customers as well, it seems.
The Vatican’s tone towards LGBTQ-specific issues under Pope Francis has changed markedly from traditional church teachings.