Pope 'leaves Vatican at night in disguise'

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Pope Francis used to visit poor people at night in Buenos Aires, when he was the city's archbishop. Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Pool/AFP
10:46 CET+01:00
Days after Pope Francis slammed society's response to homelessness, the pontiff has reportedly been sneaking out of the Vatican at night to go and help poor people on the streets of Rome.

Suspicions were first raised when Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who is responsible for helping poor people, alluded to the late-night wanderings.

“When I say to him [the Pope] ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” Krajewski told the website, uCatholic. The archbishop refused to expand on his comments or confirm whether the Pope joined him on the charity excursions.

But Krajewski said that such midnight wanderings would be in keeping with the Pope’s style when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope “would go out at find people, talk with them, or buy them something to eat. He would sit with them and eat with them on the street,” Krajewski said.

Following the speculation, an unnamed source 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".

The news comes just days after the Pope released his first Apostolic Exhortation, a document detailing his vision for the Catholic Church, in which he slammed capitalism and society’s lack of care for the homeless.

“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?” the Pope asked.

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“It is essential to draw near to new forms of poverty and vulnerability...even if this appears to bring us no tangible and immediate benefits,” he added.

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