Pope May Be Sneaking Out at Night to Help Poor
Rumors seem to be true: Huffington Post
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2013 3:55 PM CST
Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Basilica last month.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – This will only help Francis' reputation as everyone's favorite pope: It seems that the pontiff is ducking out of the Vatican at night dressed as a priest to minister to Rome's homeless and hand out money. The rumor got buzzing when an archbishop whose job it is to do just that said in an interview, "When I say to him, 'I’m going out into the city this evening,' there’s the constant risk that he will come with me," reports uCatholic. Pressed on whether Francis had actually done so, the archbishop smiled and said, "Next question."

The Huffington Post follows up on the rumor with this: "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women." Francis, who this week mentioned the church's sex-abuse scandal for the first time, also is known for making personal phone calls to ordinary people who write to him.