‘I wasn’t drunk’: Pope Francis aide climbs down manhole to restore homeless shelter’s power

‘I wasn’t drunk’: Pope Francis aide climbs down manhole to restore homeless shelter’s power
Copyright ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
By Lauren Chadwick with ANSA
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Pope Francis' aide restored electricity for hundreds of people by crawling down a manhole in Rome.

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Pope Francis' almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, lowered himself into a manhole on Sunday to restore power to a homeless shelter in Rome, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The shelter housed roughly 420 people, including nearly 100 minors. The people living there had been without electricity and hot water since May 6, according to ANSA.

The almoner is in charge of the pope's charities and helping the poor. Krajewski called the act a "desperate gesture" on Sunday.

"I didn't do it because I'm drunk," Krajewski added.

The building also housed cultural workshops including a craft beer laboratory, rehearsal room, and carpentry shop.

The energy supply company cut the power due to the building's debt of €300,000 accumulated since the former government building was reoccupied as a homeless shelter in 2013.

Populist leader and Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini said that he hoped the Pope's almoner would pay the debt back. According to national media, the Vatican said it was aware of the possible legal consequences.

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