Letters to the Editor

Impertinent beggars at the churches

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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Dear Editor,

There are indigent people who exercise begging as a profession and unashamedly choose specific large cities to show their rags. Some of them have posters that tell touching stories: “I am a single mother with two kids, I have no home and live on the street, I ask for help to eat.” Others kneel or use children to call to the conscience, or put on the doors of the churches because their experience tells them that they will receive good tips from charitable faithful.

The charitable and social action of the Church in Spain provides a great help to the needy in social and charitable centres, homes for the elderly, the chronic ill and the disabled, daycare centres, orphanages, family consultancy, hospitals, outpatient departments, dispensaries, prisons, etc. There are indigent people who reject these places and camp in their “places of request”, obtaining good alms and sleep in poorly warm places.

At the entrance of a church in Madrid there is a shed to shelter from the rain. An indigent man must have thought that this was a good place to put his refuge with cardboards and mattress, which gave a grubby aspect to the religious portico and was miserable testimony that there is hunger and misery in the world. Parishioners and priests had to put up with him for a long time as if there were no charitable and social centres for the indigent.

The mayor of Madrid has asked for a national law that force the homeless (there are about 30,000 of them in Spain) to leave the street because there are enough establishments to house them. However, there are always defenders of the impertinence of these people who claim their human rights,without taking into account the existing of welfare establishments, the human rights of others, and the healthiness of people. Meanwhile, we have to wait for their repeated abuses to take drastic measures. At this pace, and despite the Church being linked with the needy, they will have to put security guards to prevent these attacks in some churches.


Ricardo Gutiérrez Ballarín

Independent Forum of Opinion


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