Pope Francis pays prostitutes a surprise visit

​- Pope Francis has paid a visit to some former prostitutes
– The Vicar visited 20 former prostitutes at a safe house in Rome
– Pope had a heart to heart chat with the women for over an hour

Leader of the world church, Pope Francis has surprised 20 former prostitutes by paying them a visit.

Pope Francis pays prostitutes a surprise visit

BBC reports that Pope Francis visited the ex-prostitutes at their safe house in Rome.
The women had been rescued from their pimps and are being given shelter and protection at an apartment run by a Catholic charity in Italy’s capital.

The pontiff chatted to the women, some trafficked from Africa and elsewhere in Europe, for more than an hour.

The Pope chatted to the 20 women from six countries for more than an hour

The 79-year-old cleric has repeatedly described human trafficking as a “crime against humanity”.
CNN reports that the Pope sat down with the women, including seven Nigerians, six Romanians and four Albanians, and listened to their stories of forced prostitution, the Vatican said. ‘
The other three in the group came from Italy, Tunisia and the Ukraine.
They were all aged about 30 and had “suffered serious physical abuse” and now lived under protection, the Vatican said.
Promising women jobs, traffickers bring them to Italy and other western European countries but then force them into prostitution.
Pope Francis encouraged the former sex workers “to be strong” as they started their new lives with the help of the Pope John XXIII Community.

The unannounced visit to the prostitutes came under what the Vatican terms the Pope’s “Fridays of Mercy”, focusing on communities that have experienced suffering.
In a related development, Pope Francis said “God weeps” for the sexual abuse of children.
The cleric made the statement in Philadelphia, after meeting with victims of sexual abuse.
Francis met with five victims, including three women and two men, the Vatican said in a statement.
All were adults who suffered abuse as minors, either by clergy, family members or teachers.
The Pope listened to the victims’ testimony, talked with them both as a group and individually, and then prayed with them.
The site of the Pope’s meeting, St Charles Borromeo Seminary, is significant since the local archdiocese was the subject of two scathing grand jury reports,! in 2005 and 2011, that uncovered years of inadequate action on the part of church leaders to stop priests from raping and molesting children.
The priest in charge of personnel was convicted of child endangerment in 2012.
In remarks to bishops following the meeting, Francis vowed “careful oversight” to ensure that youth are protected and said that those responsible for abuse would be held accountable.
“The people who had the responsibility to take care of these tender ones violated that trust and caused them great pain,” he said.