Tags: Pope Francis | Vatican | Homeless | Showers

Pope Francis Installing Showers for Homeless in Vatican

By    |   Thursday, 13 November 2014 04:46 PM

Pope Francis has commissioned building showers for the homeless in public restrooms in St. Peter's Square.

Three showers will be installed in refurbished public restrooms along the marble columns leading into the 1626 basilica, Religion News Service reports.

The Vatican’s deputy spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said Thursday the project was a joint initiative of the pope and Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who distributes charity on the pope’s behalf. Construction starts next week.

The Italian daily La Stampa reports Krajewski had pressed for the showers to be built after he met in October a homeless man who was too embarrassed to accept an invitation to dinner because he had no place to wash, Religion News Service reports.

"We'd thank them if it works," one Polish woman,who lives in a tent with her teenage son and a companion, said of the showers, Catholic News Service reports.

Added her companion: "I'm a mason without work. I'll help them build it. No problem."

But not everyone is a fan of the plan.

Polish national Grzegorz Bialas, who sleeps in front of the Vatican press office beside St. Peter’s Square, told Religion News Service the showers are "a bad idea" because they'll attract hundreds of homeless to the Vatican.

Krajewski is visiting parishes in areas where homeless people gather and is encouraging them to install public showers if they have not already, Catholic News Service reports. His office will help fund the building, he said.

"It is not simple," Krajewski said. "It is easier to prepare sandwiches than to run a shower service — you need volunteers, towels, clean underwear."

Next on Krajewski’s list is haircuts, according to Religion News Service. He said he has asked a hairdressing school if students would be available to give haircuts to pilgrims without a home.

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Pope Francis has commissioned building showers for the homeless in public restrooms in St. Peter's Square.
Vatican, Homeless, Showers
Thursday, 13 November 2014 04:46 PM
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