Pope in surprise visit to ex-prostitutes

2016-08-12 21:46
Pope Francis. (File, Gregorio Borgia, AP)

Pope Francis. (File, Gregorio Borgia, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vatican City - Pope Francis surprised 20 former prostitutes on Friday by knocking on their door in Rome and popping in for a chat.

The Argentine, who has repeatedly described the human trafficking behind much prostitution as "a crime against humanity", sat down with the group, including two women from Albania, seven from Nigeria and six from Romania.

The other three hailed from Italy, Tunisia and the Ukraine, according to a Vatican statement. The women, all aged around 30, are being sheltered by a Catholic association in an apartment in the Italian capital after being rescued from their pimps.

The 79-year old listened for over an hour to the stories of the former sex slaves, "all of whom suffered serious physical abuse and live under protection", the Vatican said.

The visit fell under what have been termed Francis's "Fridays of Mercy", whereby he carries out one unscheduled act of mercy a month on a Friday - mainly in or near Rome - throughout the pope's Jubilee year, which started in December and runs to November.

In January, he visited a care home for the elderly and people in a vegetative state, while in February he went to a community for drug addicts. In March he toured a refugee centre before visiting asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos in April.

The pontiff then spent time with the seriously mentally ill in May before visiting old and ill priests in June and dedicating his July "Friday of Mercy" to sick children in Krakow after praying for the victims of the Holocaust at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp.

Read more on:    pope francis  |  italy

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.