It may seem minor, but in reality, this is a “wow” moment. Andrea Quintero was homeless and desperate when she left Colombia for Italy, in search of a more accepting society, and the potential for meeting a man who would be kind to her and love her. But in Rome she found nothing but pain, accumulating injuries from beatings on the train platform where she lived. On July 29, 2013, her body was found on that platform, the result of a brutal beating. On that same day, Pope Francis said five words about homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”
Andrea’s body was recovered by charity workers who wanted to give her a Catholic funeral. A Jesuit Priest opened the doors of one of the most prominent Catholic churches in Rome, and then something special happened – throughout her funeral service, the priest acknowledged Andrea as “she.” Something which the Catholic Church has never done before.
Father Giovanni La Manna, who helped organize Andrea’s funeral, is quoted thus:
“With Pope Francis, we have courage, we have enthusiasm. We have no excuse. We are called to open our hearts.”