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The Pope Is Taking Homeless People Out for Pizza

The Holy Father has been paying for rough sleepers in Rome to be taken on trips to the beach before hitting up the pizzeria.

Phoebe Hurst

Phoebe Hurst

As far as celibate heads of conservative religious institutions go, Pope Francis is pretty cool. He likes tequila and spurns expensive footwear. He chooses the bus over chauffeured cars and probs wouldn't say no to some of that sweet Bolivian coca leaf.

And, as if to further cement himself as The Dope Pope, Frank has now begun providing homeless people with everyone's favourite cheese-laden, Italian dish: pizza.

As Vatican Insider reports, the Holy Father has been paying for rough sleepers in Rome to be taken on trips to the beach before hitting up the pizzeria.

READ MORE: The Pope Misses Going Out for Pizza More Than He Misses TV

Under instruction from Pope Francis, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who is responsible for distributing the Vatican's charity money, has been organising the excursions since the start of the summer.

He told Vatican Insider that he drives ten or 11 homeless people residing near Vatican City to a beach around 20 miles away, where they are able to swim and sunbathe. The whole thing is paid for by the Vatican and the homeless are even given towels and swimsuits.

Krajewski told Vatican Insider: "We are a sui generis [unusual] group since those who live on the street have very dark faces because of the sun, but bodies as white as milk."

And after flaunting those pasty bods along the glorious Italian coastline? Pizza.

Krajewski said: "We always conclude the trip in a pizzeria, as do many people who are on vacation at this time."

Pizza may be the obvious end to any summer day trip in Italy, but the choice of cuisine could also be down to the Pontiff's own preference for a good slice. Speaking to an Argentinian newspaper last year, Pope Francis revealed that since taking on the Bishop of Rome and Sovereign of Vatican City gig, what he really misses is being able to pop to the pizzeria on a whim. Having a large margherita delivered to the Vatican "is not quite the same thing," apparently.

READ MORE: The Pope Is Dying to Chew Coca Leaves in Bolivia

The Vatican City's homeless population, on the other hand, can walk into Luigi's and order a quattro formaggi without causing a rosary bead-wielding mob. And they're loving the Pope-approved pepperoni.

Betraying a slightly low view of his fellow man's table manners, Krajewski told Vatican Insider how much the homeless groups had enjoyed their gratuito pizza. He said: "I was very impressed to see how they behave in these situations. They know how to get along together, and when we are at the table, if one is talking and telling a story, everyone else is listening quietly. Even some of them, who are usually more agitated, cheer up."

Heaven is a pizzeria on earth.