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Guess who's coming to lunch? Pope hosts meal for 1,500 homeless people

AFP|
​Guess who's coming for Pope's lunch?
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​Guess who's coming for Pope's lunch?

Pope Francis on Sunday hosted around 1,500 poor and homeless people for lunch at the Vatican, decrying indifference to poverty as the Catholic Church marked its World Day of the Poor.

In pic: Pope Francis attends a lunch with the poor after celebrating a Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor, in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

Reuters
​Menu
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​Menu

The menu consisted of lasagna, chicken nuggets with cream of mushrooms and potatoes, dessert, fruit and coffee.

In pic: Pope Francis (C) has lunch with guests on November 17, 2019, at the Paul VI audience hall in Vatican, to mark the World Day of the Poor.

AFP
​How were they brought?
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​How were they brought?

The pope's guests were brought to the Vatican by volunteers of charity groups who help them daily.

In pic: A general view of a lunch with Pope Francis for the poor after celebrating a Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor.

Reuters
​Location
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​Location

The pope then joined his 1,500 guests for lunch in the Vatican's vast Paul VI Hall.

In pic: A woman takes a selfie at a lunch with Pope Francis for the poor after celebrating a Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor, in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

Reuters
​An act of benevolence
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​An act of benevolence

"My thoughts go to those who... have promoted solidarity initiatives to give concrete hope to the most disadvantaged," Pope Francis told a mass in Saint Peter's Square ahead of the lunch.

"Recently I saw some statistics on poverty. They make you suffer -- the indifference of society towards the poor," the pope said, thanking medical staff who were providing free health care to the poor at the Vatican.

Reuters
​Wealth inequality
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​Wealth inequality

He also criticised what he called "the frenzy of running, of achieving everything right now, anyone left behind is viewed as a nuisance. And considered disposable."

"How many elderly, unborn, disabled and poor persons are considered useless. We go our way in haste, without worrying that gaps are increasing, that the greed of a few is adding to the poverty of many others."

In pic: Pope Francis (C) arrives for a lunch with people to mark the World Day of the Poor.

AFP
People wait for the Pope to arrive
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People wait for the Pope to arrive

"Thank you to the pope and thank you to the Vatican, because the Vatican helps so many poor people, and it also helps by providing medicine, this lunch of course, clothes, so many things," said Oscar, a Lithuanian who has lived in Italy for 13 years.

"We don't have good money because we work seven hours, eight hours, some people sometimes 10 hours for just 30 euros, so this is hard," said Gambian migrant worker Lamin Jarra.

In pic: People wait for Pope Francis arrival for a lunch in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

AP
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Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service