VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis this summer is treating dozens of Rome’s homeless to a day at the beach and dinner in a pizzeria on the way back.
The pontiff’s almsgiver, Polish monsignor Konrad Krajewski, told the La Stampa daily he drives a van with 10 people to a beach near Rome for a dip in the sea, sunbathing and then pizza. The Vatican supplies the swimsuits and beach towels.
Krajewski told Italian state radio Sunday the afternoon outings reflect the homeless’ “desire for normality” in their lives.
REMNANT COMMENT: Oh, for sure – and catching a ride from Archbishop Krajewski and heading out to the beach would make anyone's life seem more normal, especially with pizza and towels compliments of Pope Francis. I bet those homeless guys—men who’ve lost everything from wives, to children, to dignity itself--just line right up for a little fun in the sun with some Archbishop they don't even know.
This all seems a little patronizing, no?
The Archbishop is the Pope's almoner, by the way—the man tasked with carrying out acts of charity in the name of Pope Francis...sort of the PR guy for the charity division of the pope’s Man of the People initiative. According to Alchetron.com, Krajewski's office funds its work by selling "papal blessings on parchment with a photograph of the pope, which the faithful can obtain for a particular occasion — say a wedding, baptism or priestly ordination — with the name of the recipient and an apostolic blessing written in calligraphy. All proceeds go directly to the works of charity."
So, if you get one of those papal blessings next time you’re in Rome you can sleep well knowing that at least some of your money went towards rounding up a few homeless guys and taking them to the beach, which as anyone who knows anything about homeless people knows, is always a high priority. This is not symbol over substance, as it might seem. Really, it’s not! It's. the. BEACH!
Krajewski describes how Francis has redefined the little-known office of papal almoner: "The Holy Father told me at the beginning: 'You can sell your desk. You don't need it. You need to get out of the Vatican. Don't wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor'."
“Sell your desk and go look for poor people"? In Rome--a city bursting at the seams with Catholic churches, orphanages, convents, monasteries, soup kitchens? The homeless can no longer access Catholic charity in Rome without the Pope himself sending out Archbishops to find them?
And the Archbishop is going to do the hard work of really helping the homeless gain their independence and regain their dignity-- by walking around deskless like some stoned hippy? Does this limousine-liberalism still sell? Is there really somone out there gullible enough to think this is all about the homeless and not Vatican PR?
If you really care about someone who's down and out, do you take him to the beach, give him a pizza and then deposit him back in his gutter before heading back to your posh Vatican apartment? Is that all it takes to make a homeless person not want to be homeless anymore? (Because, remember, that's the big problem with the homeless). But according to the Vatican, what they really need is the beach and a free swimsuit.
How is this not insulting to homless people everywhere? It would appear that the Vatican is about as tuned in to the plight of the homeless as they were to the plight of the victims of clerical sex abuse.
Meanwhile millions of Catholics have left (or are leaving) the Church because they find themselves spiritually malnourished, scandalized, fed up, and just all done being Catholic. What about them -- the folks who get stones rather than pizza from a Vatican much more interested in ramrodding progressivism down their throats than in making any attempt to find out what went so terribly wrong in the Church over the past 50 years as to leave millions of sheep feeling utterly abandoned and, indeed, homeless.
But a pizza and some sunbathing for "dozens" of Rome's vagabonds? Comin’ right up! Why? Because the Vatican really cares about people!
I guess things are going to just keep getting sillier until the Catholic world finally realizes that without God and sacred Tradition, we can do nothing but make fools of ourselves trying to convince the world that we’re still Christian even though we've long since ceased being Catholic.