St Francis hometown Assisi bans begging: report
ROME (AFP) — Assisi, home of Saint Francis, the 13th century patron of the poor, has banned begging, an Italian newspaper reported Sunday.
Right-wing Mayor Claudio Ricci has stopped people seeking handouts, lying down or sitting on the ground within 500 metres (yards) of town churches, other places of worship, squares and public buildings, La Repubblica said.
“Saint Francis is the saint of the poor and his teachings are still relevant. As a Christian, I don’t understand it,” said Renato Martino, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The mayor of the town in northern Italy, told the newspaper his ban was designed to “preserve the sacred character of Assisi without damaging its welcome.”
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