Handyman cardinal defies police to help homeless

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski (Vatican Media)

An aide to Pope Francis has shimmied down a manhole in order to restore electricity for hundreds of homeless people living in an unused state-owned building in Rome. Source: The Guardian.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski broke a police seal to turn the electricity back on Saturday evening in the building where 450 people, including about 100 children, had been living without lights or hot water since 6 May, according to Italian news reports

“I intervened personally to turn the meter back on. It was a gesture of desperation. There were over 400 people without electricity, families and children,” Cardinal Krajewski, who carries out acts of charity in the name of the Pope, told ANSA news agency.

The cardinal “was fully aware of the possible legal consequences, and acted in the conviction that it was necessary to do it for the good of those families,” sources close to the Vatican’s alms office told Adnkronos news agency.

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, said he hoped the papal aide would pay overdue electricity bill, estimated at €300,000 ($483,000).

Sr Adriana Domenici, who works with the homeless, told Italian broadcaster RaiNews24 that after the building’s electricity was cut off on May 6, she called Cardinal Krajewski for help.

She said that when utility workers returned to disconnect power again, they found a note from Cardinal Krajewski and left the electricity running.

Pope Francis has transformed Cardinal Krajewski’s centuries-old job – that of Vatican almoner – into a hands-on, door-to-door charitable mission.

Cardinal Krajewski has just returned from the Greek island of Lesbos, where he travelled to deliver financial donations to projects helping refugees and assure both those living in tent camps and local residents that the Pope had not forgotten about them.


Divine intervention: Vatican aide defies police to restore power to homeless shelter (The Guardian)


Papal aide restores power to help homeless (Yahoo 7 News)

Cardinal visits refugees in Greek camps as political solutions falter (CNS)

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