The Catholic Church in Switzerland is setting up a counseling service for prostitutes, which it claims is the first of its kind. The Church in the city of Basel has set up a service called Spiritual Welfare for the Taboo, to provide counselling for women in the sex trade. Journalist and theologian Anne Burgmer will listen to the women, pray with them and ask for God’s blessing. Her office will be in the heart of the red light district, housed within an existing counselling centre for prostitutes. The service is scheduled to run for three years and will start on January 1. At a press conference Burgmer said she was “not here to judge, and certainly not to condemn”. While there are already similar services available, Burgmer said the Church’s aim would be to “accompany [the women] spiritually”. Burgmer said she saw the service as a response to a call from Pope Francis. “I understand that Pope Francis’s quote – ‘Better a Church with bumps that is travelling on the road than a Church that is sick because she has locked herself’ – as an order,” she said. “We must increasingly go back to the people, especially the marginalised.”
Read more at the Catholic Herald.