As Pope Francis visited uptown Manhattan with messages of support and tolerance, especially for the poor, a Harlem neighborhood struggled over how to respond to a persistent homeless population, many of whom have been evicted from an underpass in the neighborhood.
Police removed an encampment from under a train overpass about one month ago, residents said. It was a change for which local residents lobbied for more than one year.
Pope Francis met for lunch with 200 people who are homeless or living in poverty in Washington on Thursday and told them there was no social or moral justification for homelessness.
Francis, after delivering a speech to the U.S. Congress in which he urged lawmakers to do more to help society’s most vulnerable people, visited a Catholic Charities center that provides food, medical services and help in job hunting.
Amid the tumult of Pope Francis blessing a lunch for the needy, a shrouded statue of Jesus lay off to the side, mostly unnoticed – pretty much the way its sculptor intended.
“Homeless Jesus” is a bronze statue located outside the offices of the Catholic Charities Association in Washington, D.C., where a figure slumbers on a bench almost entirely wrapped in a blanket. The only giveaway that the statue depicts Jesus is the telltale wounds on his feet.