Pope Offers Free Coronavirus Tests at the Vatican for Homeless People | 22 Words

Pope Francis' bid to help the homeless amid the pandemic has left people very divided. Read on to get more on what the Pope has proposed...

Now, Catholicism is a very popular religion worldwide.

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It is estimated that around 1.2 billion people follow the religion all around the world.

And who is in charge of the Catholic Church?

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The Pope, of course!

He is the worldwide leader of the religion...

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The Pope is also known as the supreme pontiff, and he is the official Bishop of Rome.

The Pope is a very important figure.

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The earliest record of a Pope figure dates back to the 11th Century.

There has been a total of 266 popes...

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So being elected as the Pope is a pretty big deal.

Pope Francis is the current standing Pope...

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And he is the first-ever Jesuit Pope - a member of the Society of Jesus.

Francis has been in power for many years now...

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He began working as a Catholic Priest in 1969, when he became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was made a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, but it wasn't until 2013 that he was elected as the Pope.

He is also a very well respected man...

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Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been celebrated for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, international visibility as pope, concern for the poor, and commitment to interfaith dialogue.

This means that members of the Catholic Church are often left starstruck when they meet Pope Francis.

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He regularly interacts with the public and members of the church and many of his followers are able to talk to him and receive words of wisdom and advice.

And it seems his latest move has had a very strong reaction...

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People have been left well and truly divided.

Many praised the Pope for the move...

However, others weren't so sure...

The Vatican announced a new initiative this week as part of the Roman Catholic Church’s annual World Day of the Poor.

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The project will see the Pope welcome homeless people into the Vatican to undergo free coronavirus tests while ensuring those who test positive have access to further medical treatment.

The new scheme allows as many as fifty people a day to undergo testing.

Homeless people in Rome will be able to have swabs taken at a clinic located by St. Peter’s Square, which the Pope set up several years ago.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella stated that testing was already underway and would continue indefinitely...

And homeless people taking part in the initiative will continue to receive help after the tests have been carried out.

Those who test negative are given a certificate to enter a shelter...

While patients who test positive are directed towards further treatment.

Pope Francis hopes the project will help those living on the streets have access to the support they need during the pandemic.

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For more on the Pope, scroll on for what he recently said about same-sex civil unions...