Pope Francis has been making sure Rome’s homeless do not miss out on a summer holiday by treating them to trips to the beach followed by dinner in a pizzeria.
Around 100 disadvantaged people have taken advantage of the Pontiff’s generosity so far, with Francis himself sometimes on hand serving the pizza. The seaside outings have been revealed by the Pope’s almsgiver, Polish Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, who explained he drives a van of 10 people daily on the 20 mile trip to Passo Oscuro.
There, he explains that the homeless can enjoy a dip in the sea or sunbathe, with the Vatican supplying swimsuits and beach towels. Then on the way home from the outing, the clergyman says he stops off at a pizzeria, to make sure the homeless have a good meal before they return to Rome.
Monsignor Krajewski told Italian newspaper La Stampa: ‘We are a sui generis [unusual] group since those who live on the street have very dark faces because of the sun, but bodies as white as milk.
‘We always conclude the trip in a pizzeria, as do many people who are on vacation at this time. We certainly are not saving the world with some of these initiatives, we are not solving the problems of the homeless in Rome, but at least we are restoring to them a little dignity.’
Not solving the problems of the homeless in Rome is right. While this act of kindness is wonderful and all, and every person deserves a vacation every now and then, it’s questionable if the Vatican will actually do anything to help these people in the long run. Many have commented on how vast the Vatican is and that surely there are jobs that these homeless individuals could do in exchange for money, food, or a place to stay. Maybe it’s just me, but having a roof over my head every night sounds much more pleasant than spending one day of the year eating pizza while starving the other 364.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.