Homeless, alcoholic, beggar at Church


#1

We have a man who comes to Church to beg for money, he won’t stay for mass. Wondering if we continue to politely ignore him (been three years now) or what?


#2

How do you know he is an alcoholic?

Maybe dont ignore him?


#3

I have a long history with him, gave him 100 pounds once thinking it may help him and been to his sleeping place twice. He is mentally I’ll…as in mind wandering but I know he reads bible


#4

Has a Priest spoken to him? Could he be pointed in the direction of a homeless shelter?


#5

Our Priest is very gentle and we all have tried to be charitable to him. His view is to respect him. We have setup meetings for him with shelter and doctor but he doesn’t go…he also steals from shops to get by


#6

If he’s been showing up for 3 years and hasn’t caused any problems, then I don’t see why he can’t just keep showing up indefinitely.

If he’s showed up for 3 straight years, maybe talk to him and at least get to know him, see if you can give him a sandwich or something?


#7

This is the dilemma. He in general is ok but regularly shouts, holds and stop people who he thinks will talk to him. It is quite intimidating. I asked him to stop touching me in a kind way and it mostly works but less bold people get controlled by him.


#8

Matt. 45:25 “What you do for the Least of me you do unto others” Sl. deviation in the translation of Matthew but you get the message. I think if Fr. didn’t want him at the church he would probably tell him rather than turn him away. Perhaps you could strike up a conversation before Mass and learn his story. Ignore him if you chose, but keep in mind that he may be the persona of Christ. Remember that old song. What would you do(if Jesus came to spend some time with you?) So, what would YOU do?


#9

I wonder what Christ would say if you posted that same question to him.


#10

If you are intimidated by poverty or homelessness consider the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the fox with no den and that Jesus was a poor itinerant preach/teacher for three years with nowhere to lay His head.


#11

How come he doesn’t go to the meetings? Stealing from the shops is also a problem.


#12

I think the pastor, or the head usher, or someone in authority who knows this guy and has had some interactions with him, has to have a stern word with him and tell him that holding and stopping people is not OK and he needs to tone it down a notch.

I know what you mean because many big-city cathedrals I attend have these guys. Sometimes they come in for Mass but they often aren’t praying - sometimes they’re just sitting, or sleeping in the pew or the corner, or at worst they are looking to steal from a purse. Usually they’re harmless and I’ve spent a lot of time in cities so I’m not very intimidated by them, but they can come off as scary to somebody else who’s not used to that.


#13

I’d might question my beliefs if he shouted loudly at me -
Stops me - grabs me - I’m not kidding.
He probably has a demon -

Police should be notified - steals from local stores - wow
Three years - and getting worse -
and more confrontational - bullying -
Priest sounds like a total milk toast -

It’s sad when churches get things stolen - hate that.
But the next thing - would have to be a stranger like this.
What a guilt trip causing demanding danger -
I hope people watch their kids closely !

I’d find a new church -


#14

Exactly what He said in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Arrange to get him to a facility who can care for him, make a donation and offer to donate more if they need it.


#15

That certainly sounds better than politely ignoring him


#16

If this man is accosting people, refuses to participate in the help you have arranged, call the police. One day it will spiral out of control.


#17

The “Church” is not just a pile of bricks, is it? YOU are the church. How you represent the Church and speak of the church can draw others to the church or turn them from the icons, pretty pictures, THE EUCHARIST and that pile of bricks an mortar. To call a kind and gentle priest a, milktoast…himm, isn’t he living the Word?


#18

That’s - NOT - my idea of a good well rounded Shepherd.

I could never go to a church - where the Priest had SSA either.


#19

A priest can suffer from SSA but be chaste. What church you attend is your personal choice. But remember the Bible warns that ‘He who judges others is judged by others also, and in danger of hell fire also.’ Dancing on hot coals just doesn’t appeal to me so I do not judge in this instance, but refer to scripture and try to abide by the Word. I think I’m done here.


#20

Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Personally, if I were so mentally ill that I was behaving as the OP described, I’d want someone to commit me and find me a safe place to get clean and sober. In many places, however, the law does not allow that. In that case, there is not much to do but what is already being done: be kind and pray for him, but don’t give him the means to harm himself more by giving him cash. “I’m sorry, Lord, but you wouldn’t accept the help you actually needed and we couldn’t force you to take it…”

Is this not the kind of story that people tell about themselves after they got clean and sober?


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