A group of transgender sex workers in Italy struggling to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic has found support in the Vatican.

According to Italian LGBT outlet Gay.it, the group last month approached their local parish priest for assistance with food. The parish told them they were unable to help due to a lack of resources stemming from the pandemic. But the priest sent their request to Cardinal Konrad Krajewski at the Vatican. Krajewski, who oversees the church's charities, approved the request and sent the parish an undisclosed amount of money for the transgender sex workers.

Speaking with Reuters, Krajewski said that he didn't understand the attention the story had generated.

“This is ordinary work for the church, it's normal,” he said. “This is how the church is a field hospital.”

Gay.it reported that the donation was shared among roughly 20 transgender sex workers, most of whom are from Latin American. The women thanked Pope Francis in audio messages.

In a WhatsApp message, Tiziana Fisichella, coordinator of Milan Pride, told the Washington Blade that Francis “looked beyond social stigma and took care of people forgotten by society.”

Francis has repeatedly criticized gender identity and denounced technologies that allow people to transition.

(Related: In biography, ex-pope Benedict XVI associates gay marriage with the Antichrist.)