“New Yorkers, if not city dwellers everywhere, might acknowledge a debt to Pope Francis this week. He has offered a concrete, permanently useful prescription for dealing with panhandlers.It’s this: Give them the money, and don’t worry about it.
The pope’s advice, from an interview with a Milan magazine published just before the beginning of Lent, is startlingly simple. It’s scripturally sound, yet possibly confounding, even subversive.Living in the city — especially in metropolises where homelessness is an unsolved, unending crisis — means that at some point in your day, or week, a person seeming (or claiming) to be homeless, or suffering with a disability, will ask you for help.
You probably already have a panhandler policy. . . . .”
Here is the top comment:
As a Catholic seminarian and, hopefully, a future priest, I am simultaneously inspired and unsettled by the teachings of Pope Francis. Inspired because, like his namesake, he fervently preaches and lives out the Gospel by his actions and not only his words, particularly in solidarity with the marginalized of our world. By the same token, his actions and words are unsettling because it reminds me that I, too, am called to live out the Gospel in this very difficult and radical way.
This editorial really gets to me. I have a fancy set of rules, which meant that I do not give to pan handlers very often. I need to revisit these ideas, while continuing to strive to give more to family planning and environmental organizations.