In something out of a super hero comic book, it’s been revealed that Pope Francis sneaks out of the Vatican disguised as a priest to help the homeless men and women of Rome at night. At least this is what Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who heads the Catholic Church’s mission to seek out the poor in Rome to hand out alms, said in a recent interview. Krajewski implied that Pope Francis- yes, the Pope Francis- has joined him on nightly trips into the city.
The “hands-on project” which involves face to face meetings with the homeless and the poor, is managed by the church’s charity is an effort to directly impact the lives of impoverished people.
Krajewski continued by saying Pope Francis said he could “sell (his) desk” and that he didn’t need it; all he needs to do is “go out and look for the poor.”
According to the Huffington Post, Swiss guards have confirmed the rumors, saying that Pope Francis does sneak out of the Vatican at night, dressed as a priest, and helps with the poor.
Krajewski wouldn’t confirm the speculation, only saying that when he makes his trips into the city, there is always the “risk” that the Pope will jump in the van with him.
The Archbishop also says that the Pope leaves him dozens of letters every morning, inscribed with cryptic notes reading “you know what to do,” “go find them,” or “go talk to them.”
Pope Francis’s selflessly forgiving and unrelenting kindness has taken the world by storm, shifting the paradigm from the traditional glamour and excess with which the Vatican’s elite are usually characterized to a more compassionate and forgiving environment.
From Ratzinger’s lavish outfits and his priceless shiny red shoes, Pope Francis’s frugal and altruistic behavior sets him a part from his predecessor in more ways than one.
These rumors of the Pope’s borderline heroic gesture comes after his comments on global capitalism earlier this week. Warning against excess and greed, Pope Francis chastised economic gains at the expense of social justice.
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” said Pope Francis in his first papal exhortation titled “Joy of the Gospel.”
Rush Limbaugh called the Pope’s comments as “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.”
The Pope continued his criticism of global capitalism and inequality, saying that the world is in operating on an “economy of exclusion and inequality,” adding that an economy based on such principles “kills.”
Conservative wings of the Catholic Church and their followers are not sure what to make of this new Pope. His groundbreaking stance away from the trends of the Catholic Church have breathed new life into the archaic institution, something many in the church acknowledge and appreciate. Others, like Limbaugh, don’t take the Pope’s words lightly, and think he is less of a Catholic and more of a communist, an outlandish claim by anyone’s standards.
Nonetheless, the Pope will always have his critics and his enemies. For now the only thing that seems to be more controversial and shocking than the Pope’s words are his actions. It’s an almost funny thing, thinking about Pope Francis sneaking out of the Vatican like a middle-schooler in the dead of the night to help the homeless; If only everybody’s teenage son was as selfless.
By John Amaruso