5-speed listening (Level 6)

Pope OKs showers for homeless in Rome



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Pope Francis has given the green light for three showers to be installed in the Vatican so the homeless have a free place to wash. The new showers will be in the world-famous St Peter's Square, a place where millions of pilgrims flock to each year. The inspiration came from Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who met a man who had been homeless for a decade. Apparently, the archbishop invited the man to dinner to celebrate his 50th birthday. The man declined saying he was embarrassed to accept the invitation because he smelled bad. The archbishop said: “I took him to dinner with me nonetheless….During dinner, he explained to me that you can always find some food in Rome. What is missing is a place to wash."

Construction of the showers will commence on November 17th. The idea has energised city planners, who have already put plans in place to erect a further ten showers across Rome. Archbishop Krajewski has called for volunteers and donations to help maintain the showers. He said the service particularly needed soap, towels and clean underwear. He told reporters: "It is not simple. It is easier to prepare sandwiches than to run a shower service. You need volunteers." When asked by journalists if he thought visitors might be offended by the showers for the homeless, the archbishop replied that it had always been the duty of the church to serve the poor and needy.

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