Jewish Journal

Pope Francis sneaks out of Vatican to mingle with homeless

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 5, 2013 | 7:11 am

Pope Francis really is like no other pontiff the world has seen in a long time. It has been evident that the pope is more liberal than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. But the differences go far beyond that.

In the fall, Pope Francis traded in a bullet-proof Mercedes with the iconic seating chamber for a 1984 Renault, "a throwback to the pontiff's old car." Now it turns out that Pope Francis doesn't even need the papal ride.

The Huffington Post, following up on Archbishop Konrad Krajewski's recent suggestion that Pope Francis "joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor," reports that the pope has been known to sneak out to mingle with the homeless:

A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women."

Krajewski earlier said, “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," and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.

This came as a great surprise. But maybe it shouldn't have. Before he was elected pope and took the name Francis, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was known for seeking out Argentina's homeless at night. And that is, after all, a message of the Gospels.

(Hat tip: Cathleen Falsani)

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