Pope Francis tells street papers it’s “always right to give help” to homeless

Pope Francis has shown his continuing support for the street paper movement by granting another exclusive interview, a year and a half after he first spoke to street papers.

The Holy Father met Scarp de’ tenis vendor Antonio Mininni and the paper’s editor Stefano Lampertico on 16 February. The resulting interview has been made available to INSP members through the INSP News Service.

Scarp de' tenis editor Stefano Lampertico interviews Pope Francis. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano

During the wide-ranging conversation, the Pope spoke of his personal belief that “it is always right to give help” when you see a person begging.

“There are many ways to justify one’s actions when not giving alms: ‘But why should I? If I give him money he’ll just spend it on a glass of wine’,” he said. “If a glass of wine is his only happiness in life, then so be it. Ask yourself instead what you do, when you’re alone. What secret ‘happiness’ do you pursue?”

Antonio Mininni said that meeting the Pope was “a dream come true”. Mininni has worked with the Italian street paper for more than 20 years and said he never thought it would lead to him meeting the Holy Father.

“I owe so much to Scarp de’ tenis,” he added. “The difficult experiences that have plagued me for many years evaporate when I work on the magazine. As I always say: thanks to Scarp I have begun to live again.”

Look out for the interview in your local street paper.