Italian rumor mill: Pope sneaks out to help the poor.

You may be seeing in days ahead some reports that Pope Francis sneaks out of the Vatican to help the poor.

I saw this at AffariItaliani (my translation):

Papa Bergoglio? La notte esce di nascosto per aiutare i poveri

Pope Bergoglio? Goes out at night secretly to help the poor

“When I tell the Pope that tonight I am going out into the city, there is always a risk that he’ll go with me.” The papal almoner Krajewski – the “Pope’s emergency room” – [The office/official who distributes benefits, material and spiritual, thus, donations of money and also papal blessings] who in general distributes from 200 to 1000 euro to people who are in need – explains the spirit of his role like this: “The Holy Father says to me: ‘Your account is good when it is empty.” Then, each I see him he asks: ‘Do you need money?'” Last year the Almoner donated a million euro: the proceeds of papal blessings. [Not quite right: they don’t sell the blessing.  That would be wrong.  But they do charge for the parchment, the services of those who do the calligraphy, the postage, etc. etc.]

And if someone asks if the Pope really goes with him during his nighttime sorties the Almoner clams up: “Let’s go to the next question.” He isn’t a chatty guy. He likes facts, and that why he gets along well with Bergoglio. […]

There’s more but that is the important part.

This is typical of Italian journalism. Take one little hint and, without any other source to back it up, insinuate something that people will slaver over.

NB: Archbp. Krajewski didn’t say one way or another that that is what the Pope does. But the writer or editor ran with it and posted this under a sensational headline.

What usually happens next is that some English language outlet will grab the headline and start reporting that the Pope goes out to help the poor every night. As a matter of fact – isn’t he the wonderfullest Pope ehvur? – he wears disguises and drives in his old Renault 4! Then the comparisons to The Shoes of the Fisherman start up. And then the headline is, “POPE TO SELL ST PETERS CATHEDRAL”… which is absurd, of course, because it isn’t a cathedral…. aside from the fact that it is ABSURD.

And the ironic part is that, even as the press eats this up, even if it were true, by reporting it they would make it impossible for the Pope to continue to do it!

So, if you see stories that the Pope is sneaking around, take them with two grains of salt.

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14 Responses to Italian rumor mill: Pope sneaks out to help the poor.

  1. mamajen says:

    So Krajewski supposedly let the cat out of the bag, but all of these poor people who Pope Francis has helped have kept their lips zipped? Right.

  2. kpoterack says:

    Oh, that’s a good one mamajen! I’ve been to Italy. If there is one thing the Italian people love to do, it is talk!

  3. kpoterack says:

    . . . and eat!

  4. Cantuale says:

    Hi father, your remarks made me remember this video about the pope going out on the streets of Rome to help a poor old lady without a fridge. Since you can understand Italian well, you’ll enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uQ-nsshTjI

  5. Incaelo says:

    I seem to recall that similar rumours existed about that other favourite of liberals (er, wait…): Venerable Pius XII… especially during the war years.

    But he wasn’t very fluffy, I suppose.

  6. tcreek says:

    My pastor, at his homily on Thanksgiving day, said – “The main thing we should be thankful for this year is Pope Francis. We have a pope to imitate in his concern for the poor.”

    I guess we would have to find something else to be “thankful for” if Benedict XVI was still pope.

  7. RJHighland says:

    That is great. This reporting is being eaten up by Protestants that I know. A good Baptist friend and his Father told me the other day it is about time the Catholic Church started selling off it’s well to give to the poor. My response have not read the article was to talk it with a grain of salt (ironic eh). I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the “For Sale” sign to go up in from of St. Peters. Secondly when any other charitable organization on the planet even starts coming close to the money, time and talents the Catholic Church offers to the poor and suffering you let me know. Secondly the Church gets a higher percentage of donated dollars to the poor than any other oganization. But it is great that he is catching peoples attention on these kinds of stories because once that door is opened albeit wrongly it is an opportunity to talk about the faith and people are more receptive to it. Now if he could only nail down what the Church actually teaches that would be perfect. Because the other impression that my Protestant friends have is that the Pope believes they are fine believing what the believe there is no need for coming into full communion with Rome they are just fine were they are. That is difficult hurdle to over come.

  8. RJHighland says:

    Edited version of my last post, to many typos

    That is great. This reporting is being eaten up by Protestants that I know. A good Baptist friend and his Father told me the other day it is about time the Catholic Church started selling off it’s wealth to give to the poor. My response having not read the report they had read was to take it with a grain of salt (ironic eh). I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the “For Sale” sign to go up in from of St. Peters. Secondly when any other charitable organization on the planet even starts coming close to the money, time and talents the Catholic Church offers to the poor and suffering you let me know. Thirdly the Church gets a higher percentage of donated dollars to the poor than any other oganization. But it is great that he is catching peoples attention on these kinds of stories because once that door is opened albeit wrongly it is an opportunity to talk about the faith and people are more receptive to it. Now if he could only nail down what the Church actually teaches that would be perfect. Because the other impression that my Protestant friends have is that the Pope believes they are fine believing what the believe there is no need for coming into full communion with Rome they are just fine were they are. That is difficult hurdle to over come.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    When in Malta a few years ago, this topic came up, as so many of the most beautiful churches in the world are there, as well as many religious orders in fantastic Baroque houses, convents, monasteries. Now that Malta is being taken over by socialist, atheists and communists, the Church is a target. But, the problem was that too many Catholics agreed with this agenda of selling property and giving it to the poor. What is not realized is how many of those same places help the poor directly.

    What is so sad is to see the abandonment of great properties in Malta, which will be happening more and more and the population and vocations of religious orders decrease. I am thinking of the great Jesuit Church of the Circumcision in Valletta. The Jesuit huge, huge house next door no longer is used because of the lack of vocations. I wonder what will happen to these places?

    I can assure you the poor will not benefit, as a property owner will turn such buildings into modern, expensive flats. And, the order most likely will not get a real market value.

    Again, and this is so important, the Church in Europe is poor, poor, poor. I can tell you that sems there live in much lower lifestyles than American sems, and that priests live on much, much less income than here.

    This idea of the Church being wealthy is a myth in most areas.

  10. TNCath says:

    It sounds like yet another one of those fabricated stories to further Pope Francis’ image as a “populist Pope,” as well as connect him to Blessed Pope John XXIII, who reportedly would sneak out of the Vatican to walk the streets of Rome and mingle with the people. This is, of course, diametrically opposed to that “mean old Pope Benedict,” who locked himself up in the Apostolic Palace, persecuted gay people, wore a mozzetta, and was out of touch with the common people.

  11. Is this really his role? As a leadership firefighter, we are instructed to avoid wildfire fatalities by staying in our role. Otherwise, as many examples have shown, the leaders who leave their role leave a void in an important position that could threaten the entire effort.

  12. It wouldn’t be the first pope to do it. Pope John XXIII did it and so did Pope John Paul II. Pope John XXIII admitted it in his autobiography. Pope John Paul’s secretary admitted it in his book. He knew all about it.

    They didn’t wear disguises. The simply dressed like any other Roman priest and they merged into the crowd. I don’t think it was a daily event. But they did it more than once.

    Pope John XXIII said that he did it to get away from the people at the Vatican and get out among real people. Read Journal of a Soul and be prepared to laugh and cry.

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