Pope Francis may be sneaking out of the Vatican at night to give aid to the poor people in city of Rome, an Archbishop revealed in a new interview.
Konrad Krajewski, who holds a little-known post called “Almoner of His Holiness,” is in charge of distributing money from the Holy See to the poor. Krahewski implied that Pope Francis often comes along on these pilgrimages to the poor regions of the city.
“When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” the Archbishop said.
When asked if Pope Francis ever actually joined on the trips, Archbisop Krajewski smiled and said, “Next question, please.”
But Krajewski did say that Pope Francis would make frequent trips to visit the poor in his previous post.
“That’s what he’s like – at the beginning (of his papacy) he didn’t think of the awkwardness that he might create. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, when he was known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pontiff “would go out at night… to find people, talk with them, or buy them something to eat. He would sit with them and eat with them on the street. This is what he wants from me,” Krajewski said.
Pope Francis has been noted for his emphasis on helping the poor. Earlier this month he came down hard on Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who became known as the “Bishop of Bling” for his exorbitant lifestyle. The Bishop had reportedly spent 31 million euros to renovate his official residence, and Pope Francis decided to turn the palace into a soup kitchen instead.
“The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake,” said a spokesman for Caritas, an organization that aids the homeless. “People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence,” he added.
If the Archbishop’s story is true, Pope Francis would not be the first Pope to sneak out of the Vatican. There have been stories that Pope John XIII would leave to walk around Rome at night and Pope Pius XII would dress as a Franciscan during World War II to help smuggle Roman Jews to safety.