Pope Francis visited a shelter in Rome for former prostitutes, rescued from the sex trade. The visit was part of the Pope’s “Friday of Mercy” actions during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
During his visit, Pope Francis met 20 women who were trafficked from their countries of origin that included Romania, Albania, Nigeria, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Italy.
All of the women were the victims of severe physical abuse during their ordeal and are living under protection.’
Pope Francis told the women “Today, I ask for forgiveness from all of you, for all the Christians and Catholics that abused you, and forgiveness for me for not having prayed enough for you and this slavery.”
A statement from the Holy See Press office said the Pope’s visit was reminder of the need to fight against human trafficking, which the Pope has described as “a crime against humanity” and “an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ”.