Pope meets with woman who inspired the controversial film Philomena
The woman whose life story is the basis of a controversial film on the Church had a private audience with Pope Francis this morning in the Vatican.
Philomena Lee says she was forced by the Catholic nuns in Ireland to give up her son to a US adoption agency 60 years ago, when he was just 3-years-old.
Ms Lee, 80, (above right) was accompanied to the meeting with the Holy Father with her daughter Jane Libbteron and also by the actor Steve Coogan (above left) who is the co-writer and co-star of Philomena, the Oscar nominated film based on what happened to Ms Lee and her attempts to be reunited with her son.
She travelled to the Vatican with a group representing the Philomena Project, which is calling for the Irish Government to initiate legislation that will result in the opening of adoption records with the goal of reuniting mothers with the children that they had to give up due to forced adoptions.
The group attended Mass in St Peter’s Square before meeting with the Pope in private. A screening of the film is due to take place in the Vatican this afternoon and news conference is expected to be held afterwards.
Speaking after her audience with Pope Francis, Ms Lee said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been in the presence of Pope Francis today.
“As the film portrays, I have always put great faith in the Church and the good will to put the wrongs of the past right. I hope and believe that his Holiness Pope Francis joins me in the fight to help the thousands of mothers and children who need closure on their own stories.”