Advertisement
Pope Francis AP/Press Association Images
Burial

Homeless man buried in Vatican cemetery reserved for senior priests for the first time

It’s usually reserved for Teutonic clerics.

A HOMELESS MAN has been buried in the exclusive Teutonic Cemetery within the Vatican in the latest sign of how Pope Francis’s concern for society’s most vulnerable is changing the way the Church does things.

Willy, a Belgian who lived on the streets around St Peter’s until his death in December, was well known to many priests, some of whom used to bring him food, Vatican radio reported.

He died after being hospitalised with the symptoms of exposure. His burial in a cemetery normally reserved for senior German clerics was funded by a donation from a German family.

Francis has made a focus on the rights, welfare and dignity of the poor one of the central themes of his papacy, reflected in his maxim that he wants “a poor church, for the poor”.

Earlier this month, showers for the homeless were installed in public toilets just yards from St Peter’s square, at the Argentinian pontiff’s request.

To mark his birthday in December, Francis ordered the distribution of dozens of sleeping bags to homeless people across Rome, and parishes in the Italian capital have been asked to follow suit with similar initiatives.

© AFP, 2015

Read: The topless woman who tried to steal Baby Jesus out of the Vatican’s crib has been released >

Opinion: I never knew how easy it was to become homeless in Ireland until now >

Your Voice
Readers Comments
43
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.