Papal almoner restores power to building occupied by homeless

16 Mai, 2019, 10:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Cardinal Konrad Kajewski

A rising force in Europe's far-right politics, he is insisting that Krajewski pay 300,000 euros in back utility bills for the Rome building, grumbling that Italians who pay for their own power must be "fools".

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is head of the Vatican's alms office, flicked a switch to turn on the electricity in building in Rome. It houses some 450 people, including about 100 children.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, 55, whose job is to distribute the Pope's charity funds, went to the disused state-owned building near a Rome cathedral on Saturday night and broke a police seal to re-connect electrical circuit breakers.

Populist leader and Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini said that he hoped the Pope's almoner would pay the debt back. It was a gesture of desperation.

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Asked if it was true that he personally lifted a manhole cover and climbed down to reconnect the building to the power main, Cardinal Krajewski told the newspaper, Corriere della Sera, "It was a special situation".

"I didn't do it because I was drunk", he added.

Under Pope Francis, the papal almoner plays an increasingly hands-on role in helping the city's needy and homeless.

In addition to housing homeless families, the building contains a multi-purpose cultural centre providing workshops in music, theatre and carpentry, as well as hosting a craft beer laboratory and offering a safe space "open to all, in particular the youth and the needy". According to local media, the Vatican said it was aware of the possible legal consequences.

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