Pope meets subject of Oscar-nominated film on adoption
Francis speaks with Philomena Lee, working to reunite families05 February, 20:29
Philomena Lee, the woman who inspired the movie Philomena starring actor Judi Dench, asked the pope to help her efforts to reunite mothers and children who were parted during forced adoption processes used at some Irish convents during the 20th century.
The movie was written by Steve Coogan, who also plays a major role and joined Lee at the meeting with Pope Francis.
Nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, the movie tells the story of Lee's effort to find the son taken away from her 50 years earlier while she worked for the sisters at an Irish convent who pressured her into giving up her child.
Lee has organized the Philomena Project, urging the Irish government to release secret records that contain details of the families forced apart by adoption.
"I am honoured and delighted to have been in the presence of Pope Francis today," Lee said later.
"As the film portrays, I have always put great faith in the Church and the goodwill 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".
Coogan and Lee are scheduled to hold a press conference in Rome on Thursday to talk about the campaign.