McFaddenPopeThe Oscar-nominated film Philomena tells the story of Irish woman’s search for her son who was put up for adoption. At the center of the story is the Catholic church. Philomena Lee gave birth to the boy at an abbey in Tipperary. She remained a devout Catholic, even as the nuns at the abbey stonewalled her efforts to help find her son. (We won’t spoil what happens, but go see it!)

Well earlier this week, Lee along with the film’s star and co-writer, Steve Coogan, traveled to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis during his weekly Wednesday audience. “Nightline” anchor Cynthia McFadden and producer Jake Whitman were there too, capturing it all.

McFadden called it a moment “more than 50 years in the making.” And it all came together in about 48 hours. First the flight to Rome. Then, Tuesday night in the hotel, Lee and Coogan sat down for interviews with McFadden. On Wednesday, they all went to St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience. Right after shaking his hand, the team dashed to ABC’s Rome bureau where McFadden did a live shot for “Good Morning America.” Meanwhile, on his laptop, Whitman edited two stories: one for “World News,” the other for “Nightline.” Another version will air Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Watch the “Nightline” story, after the jump…

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