According to the Huffington Post:
A recent interview with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the “Almoner of His Holiness,” raised speculation that the Pope joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor, and it turns out that the rumors are probably true.
A knowledgeable 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.
When he was still Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, Papa Frank used to do the same thing, sneaking out at night “to break bread with the homeless, sitting with them on the street and eating with them to show that they were loved,” HuffPo says. So the next time you find yourself riding the bus at night in the Eternal City and the priest across the aisle looks really familiar, it may be Pontifex Rex himself (or an angel in disguise.)
Just a stranger on a bus …
Papa Frank is a good shepherd and he’s concerned for the welfare of his flock — particularly those who aren’t dressed appropriately for the weather.
The folks at Catholic News Service’s Rome bureau posted this awesome Vine of Papa Frank talking to someone in the audience in St. Peter’s Square where you can see him saying something to the effect of, “It’s cold outside and you’re wearing short sleeves?!“
Ah, Il Papa. He’s a hugger and he worries. He’s like a Bubbe (or a Zayde, actually). Reason #890,398,471 why we (heart) him so much.
Take his homily this morning at Santa Martae, where, according to a report from Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service, Il Papa said:
“We should all call ourselves sinners, yes, all of us,” he said, but “not corrupt people. The corrupt man is stuck in a state of self-importance, he doesn’t know what humility is,” Pope Francis said, according to a report by Vatican Radio. “Jesus spoke to these corrupt men of the ‘beauty of being whitewashed tombs’ (St. Matthew 23: 27), which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead bones and putrefaction,” the pope said.
“We all know someone in this situation, and how much harm they do to the church,” he said. “Corrupt Christians, corrupt priests. How much harm they do to the church, because they don’t live in the spirit of the Gospel, but in the spirit of worldliness.”
Papa Frank expounded on the Gospel reading for today from St. Luke 17, in which Jesus says of those who would lead or cause others to sin: “it would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.”
What is the difference between sin and scandal?
“The difference is that one who sins and repents, asks forgiveness, recognizes his weakness, feels like a child of God, humbles himself and asks Jesus for salvation,” Papa Frank said.
“But what is scandalous about the other?” the pope asked. “That he doesn’t repent. He continues to sin but pretends to be Christian, (he leads) a double life.”
I KNOW! Look at me, the so-not-athletic one who almost never works out.
In his homily at early morning mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae (the hostel where he lives), the pope talked about bribery — a practice that has become, in some quarters of his new country and Vatican City itself — all too common.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, Il Papa said, in part:
“Devotees of the goddess of kickbacks” bring home “dirty bread” for their children to eat….”Their children, perhaps educated in expensive colleges, perhaps raised in well-educated circles, have received filth as a meal from their father,” rendering them “starved of dignity,” he said in his homily, according to Vatican Radio.
“Perhaps it starts out with a small envelope (of cash), but it’s like a drug,” he said, and “the bribery habit becomes an addiction.”