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Pope Francis May Be Sneaking Out of Vatican to Meet the Poor

Image: Pope Francis May Be Sneaking Out of Vatican to Meet the Poor

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 11:54 AM

By Lisa Barron


Pope Francis is known for his personal touch — calling people who have written him letters, washing the feet of juvenile detainees, and kissing a deformed man — but he also may be sneaking out at night in disguise to meet with the homeless. 

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Vatican Almoner, who has the centuries-old job of distributing money from the Holy See to those in need, told reporters in Rome that the Pope has elevated the position to make it part of his own personal charity, The Associated Press Reports.

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"The Holy Father told me at the beginning: You need to get out of the Vatican. Don't wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor," said the 50-year-old Krajewski. "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."

Asked if Pope Francis had ventured out of the Vatican on his own, the Polish prelate just smiled and said, "Next question, please," sparking rumors that the pontiff is going incognito into the streets to give alms, reports UCatholic.

"That's what he's like," Krajewski said, recalling that as archbishop of Buenos Aires, when Francis was known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he "would go out at night ... not just to find people, talk with them, or buy them something to eat ... He would eat with them. He would sit with them and eat with them on the street.

"This is what he wants from me," he said.

The rumors that Francis still is helping the poor himself may well be true, reports The Huffington Post, quoting a "knowledgeable source in Rome" who says "Swiss guards confirmed that the Pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women."

Krajewski himself acknowledged that he has enlisted the assistance of off-duty Swiss guards, telling reporters that they often get called into duty. They recently helped box 27,000 rosaries that Francis handed out to the public one Sunday as "spiritual medicine."

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