Home Entertainment Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan meet Pope Francis in Rome

Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan meet Pope Francis in Rome


Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee, whose story inspired the Oscar-nominated film Philomena, have met Pope Francis in Rome.

Steve Coogan, who starred in, co-wrote and co-produced the film, will take part in a press conference with Philomena Lee in Rome on Thursday.

They are campaigning for the release of 60,000 adoption files held by the Irish state, churches and private agencies.

The film tells the story of Philomena Lee’s search for her adopted son.

As an unmarried mother in Ireland in the 1950s, Philomena Lee was put into a convent as a “fallen woman” and forced to give up her three-year-old son.

“I am honored and delighted to have been in the presence of Pope Francis today,” Philomena Lee said in a statement.

Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee, whose story inspired the Oscar-nominated film Philomena, have met Pope Francis in Rome

Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee, whose story inspired the Oscar-nominated film Philomena, have met Pope Francis in Rome

“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.”

Pope Francis holds a general audience in the Vatican every Wednesday.

Philomena Lee and her daughter Jane recently launched The Philomena Project to help reunite families separated by adoption.

At present, adopted children who are trying to find their biological parents in Ireland are not permitted to see documents containing information on the identities of parents and children.

Adoption was sometimes forced upon single mothers due to the stigma of having a child outside marriage.

Philomena Lee’s story was told in a book by former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, and his book was adapted for the screen by Steve Coogan.

Philomena has four Oscar nominations, including best picture, best actress for Judi Dench and best adapted screenplay for Steve Coogan and co-writer Jeff Pope.

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