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A brief story of Popes unctuous out of a Vatican

The fable of Pope Francis seems to grow with any new news cycle.

This week, rumors started drifting following an talk in that Vatican almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski — a pope’s personal envoy to a poor and downtrodden — said of his boss that “when we contend to him ‘I’m going out into a city this evening’, there’s a consistent risk that he will come with me.” When asked directly if a pope indeed assimilated him sometimes, a Polish archbishop got coy, observant only, “Next question, please.”

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The Huffington Post fanned a flames, flitting on this tip from a “knowledgeable source in Rome”: “Swiss guards reliable that a pope has ventured out during night, dressed as a unchanging priest, to accommodate with homeless group and women.”

This isn’t a new thought in a area of fiction: The 1968 film The Shoes of a Fisherman facilities Anthony Quinn as an spasmodic Vatican-fleeing, friend-of-the-poor pope. Or watch this trailer from a 1986 film Saving Grace:

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The stories about this pope unctuous out are being reported so credulously since he behaved likewise in his prior army as archbishop of Buenos Aires. Also, “such tales seem right in line with Francis’ radical and rural style,” says David Gibson during Religion News Service. “What’s more, a loyal always adore it when a church personality sneaks underneath a radar to make a point,” like a Mormon bishop did recently.

And to tip it off, Pope Francis wouldn’t be a initial pope to mangle giveaway of a Vatican’s confines, if even for a brief while.

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Here are a handful of popes who unequivocally did (probably) try out of a Vatican on a sly:

In Jan 2010, Pope Francis’ prototype stealthily left a Vatican for a tip outing. However, it can’t even charitably be described as an charitable venture: Pope Benedict snuck out for a private debate of an art exhibit, “The Power and a Grace: The Patron Saints of Europe,” during Rome’s Palazzo Venezia Museum, on a final day a four-month run. He walked by a vaunt accompanied by a tiny assembly — dual private secretaries and 4 women who ran his domicile — while a open waited outward for 35 minutes.

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So Benedict’s tip debate was reduction like Saving Grace and some-more like a brew of Entourage and a stage from Dave where a feign President Bill Mitchell, played by Kevin Kline, takes a tip hovel out of a White House for a light cruise with genuine First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver).

The soon-to-be-canonized John Paul II’s tip adventures outward a walls of a Vatican were to answer a call of a wild. An eager skier and outdoorsman in his local Poland, Pope John Paul II “could not conflict a summons call of a plateau outward Rome, and on during slightest 100 occasions slipped divided for some incognito schussing or mountaineering — infrequently even rowdiness a Swiss Guards who were sworn to strengthen him,” says RNS‘s Gibson.

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In a 2007 memoir, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz — a late pope’s longtime personal secretary — recounted John Paul II’s greeting a initial time they successfully evaded a Swiss Guards: A joyous “We did it!”

“Good Pope John” left a Vatican during night, dressed as a elementary priest, both to revisit a ill and to suffer some giveaway time in Rome. “His peregrinations even led TIME repository to dub him ‘Johnnie Walker,'” says RNS‘s Gibson. Of course, his nightly strolls weren’t a usually reason for TIME‘s nickname, Gibson adds: “John XXIII enjoyed a cocktail as well.”

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World War II–era Pope Pius XII is a argumentative figure, prolonged indicted of insusceptibility toward a predicament of Holocaust-assailed Jews. But a “Jewish New Yorker who has done it his life’s work to transparent a name of Pope Pius XII of being anti-Semitic believes a wartime pontiff indeed went clandestine to save a lives of Jews in Rome,” says David Kerr during a Catholic News Agency.

Gary Krupp, a former Pius XII doubter who started researching a pope’s story with Jews during a ask of Jewish and Catholic leaders, recounts this version from a minute created by a Jewish woman:

It is an surprising letter, created by a lady who is alive currently in northern Italy, who pronounced she was with her mother, her uncle, and a few other kin in an assembly with Pius XII in 1947… Her uncle immediately looks during a pope and he says, “You were dressed as a Franciscan,” and looked during [Assistant Secretary of State and destiny Pope Paul VI Giovanni] Montini who was station subsequent to him, “and we as a unchanging priest. You took me out of a poor into a Vatican.” Montini immediately said, “Silence, do not ever repeat that story.” [Krupp, around CNA]

Krupp says a story is credible since a wartime pope “needed to see things with his possess eyes,” and had no hesitation about publicly visiting bombed-out areas of Rome. “I can see him going into a poor and saying what was happening.”

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The problem with documenting tip expeditions by popes is that if they do it right, no one will know about them until a tighten playmate spills a beans years or decades later. So maybe some some-more service-oriented excursions by John Paul II or Benedict XVI will emerge in a years to come. “Breaking out of a ‘gilded cage’ of a Vatican has been a dream of many popes and other churchmen who fear losing hold with their job as pastors — or simply their tie to typical life,” says RNS‘s Gibson.

Since a unequivocally initial pontiff, St. Peter, popes have visited prisons, regulating their change to urge a condition of inmates, says Andrea Tornielli during La Stampa‘s Vatican Insider. “Both Innocent X (in 1650) and Clement XI (in 1704) paid warn and tip visits to a construction sites of a Carceri Nuove (‘new prisons’) in Via Giulia and a San Michele reconstruction core in Porta Portese, and they returned there once construction work was finished to accommodate a inmates and see how a prisons were managed.” Other popes followed that tradition, too.

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Some of a progressing popes, generally in a Borgia-heavy Renaissance era, were particularly hurtful and physical — see Pope Alexander VI, who lived in resources and plainly doted on his children with mistress Vannozza dei Cattani — so their tip adventures were of another category altogether.

It’s also loyal that some growth exits were reduction than voluntary. “As recently as 1848, Pope Pius IX had to rush a Vatican sheltered as a clergyman — a determined civic fable says he was dressed as a lady — forward of rioters during Italy’s onslaught for inhabitant unification,” notes Gibson. “That story is a loyal fact, though not one a Vatican is expected to be highlighting anytime soon.”

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