To show the compassion of the church, Pope Frances ordered Vatican barbers to offer homeless men and women a shave and a haircut for "two bits" (twenty-five cents). The proceeds, the pontiff said, will be added to the church's "coffers," except in the case of those who pay in "coppers" (pennies).
"The church is limited as to what it can do to help the homeless," the pope whined, "but anything is better than nothing."
There are, however, "stipulations" with regard to the "alms" that the church is providing: "You must be a Roman citizen; you must be a Roman Catholic in good standing with the church; you must be circumcised, if you are male; you must be baptized; and you must be free of ringworm, scabies, lice, mites, and fleas."
In addition to shaves and haircuts, homeless females and young boys will be offered showers, "if they are of a comely appearance when naked."
Prior to the church "services," charity cases must be inspected for circumcision (males only), ringworm, scabies, lice, mites, and fleas and endure a prerecorded sermon by the pope, the theme of which is that Catholics are "not rabbits" and should not "breed" as if they were.
Although condoms and birth control pills will not be offered, priests and nuns will hand out religious tracts explaining the rhythm method, chastity, the avoidance of temptation, and "other church-sanctioned methods" of birth control. Each individual will also be given soap on a rope as a souvenir of their ordeal.
"The church wants to end homelessness," the pope said in defense of the controversial birth-control materials.
Over three thousand "unfortunate souls" are expected to benefit from the church's generosity.