Pope's aide restores Rome building's power to help homeless

Konrad Krajewski from Poland attends the courtesy visit of relatives following a consistory for the creation of new cardinals

Konrad Krajewski from Poland attends the courtesy visit of relatives following a consistory for the creation of new cardinals

Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is head of the Vatican's alms office, broke a police seal to flick a switch in the Rome building on Saturday night. It now houses more than 400 people, including almost 100 children.

In this Thursday, June 28, 2018 filer, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski right after being elected in a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Italy's deputy premier and interior minister, Matteo Salvini of the right-wing Lega party, has blasted the cardinal's "illegal conduct", challenging the Vatican to pay the €300,000 of unpaid electricity bills at the building on Via S. Croce in Gerusalemme which has been occupied since October 2013. It was a gesture of desperation. The people living there had been without electricity and hot water since May 6, according to Italian news agency ANSA. If someone is able to pay the bills of the Italians in difficulty, we are happy'.

A nun who works with the homeless told Italian radio and television that when workers went to the building to cut off the power again, they found a note from the cardinal asking them to leave it on.

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

He also assured those living in tent camps as well as local residents that the pope had not forgotten about them.

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".

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