Don’t Worry how it’s Spent, Always Give Homeless a Handout, Pope says


VATICAN CITY (CNS) – People who don’t give money to the homeless because they think it will be spent on alcohol and not food should ask themselves what guilty pleasures they are secretly spending money on, Pope Francis said. “There are many excuses” to justify why one doesn’t lend a hand when asked by a person begging on the street, he said in an interview published the day before the beginning of Lent. But giving something to someone in need “is always right,” and it should be done with respect and compassion because “tossing money and not looking in (their) eyes is not a Christian” way of behaving, he said. The interview, published Feb. 28, was conducted by the monthly magazine, “Scarp de’ Tenis” (Tennis Shoes), which serves homeless and marginalized people in Milan and is run by the local and national Caritas branches. The pope was scheduled to visit Milan March 25. Of the several questions the pope was asked, one focused on whether he thought giving money to people begging on the street was the right thing to do.