Pope Francis sends 15,000 ice creams to Rome prisoners

By CNA Staff

An ice-cream stand near St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. / Motivarte via Shutterstock.

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2021 / 07:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis sent 15,000 ice creams to prisoners in Rome as the Eternal City sweltered in the summer heat, the Vatican announced on Tuesday.

The gelati were taken to the Regina Coeli and Rebibbia prisons by the papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Office of Papal Charities said in a Sept. 7 press release.

The Vatican department that performs charitable acts on behalf of the pope said that in the summer months it sought to make “small evangelical gestures to help and give hope to thousands of people in Rome’s prisons.”

The office said that it focused on undertaking corporal works of mercy during the summer, when canteens and charities in Rome are forced to limit their activities.

“Therefore, as every year, small groups of homeless people, or those housed in dormitories, were taken to the sea or lake, near Castel Gandolfo, for an afternoon of relaxation and dinner in a pizzeria,” it noted.

The department added that it had also overseen the supply of medicines and medical equipment to developing countries.

“In August alone, for example, a tomograph was purchased for Madagascar, worth around $600,000, and the preparation of medical clinics, either renovated or newly built, was completed for almost two million euros [$2.4 million] in three of Africa’s poorest countries,” it said.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski visits a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, May 8, 2019. . Vatican Media
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski visits a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, May 8, 2019. . Vatican Media

Pope Francis washed the feet of inmates at Rebibbia prison on Holy Thursday in 2015 and of prisoners at Regina Coeli prison during Holy Week three years later.

In June this year, the pope received a group of around 20 prisoners at his residence. The men were inmates of a low-security prison, part of the Rebibbia complex located in Rome’s east suburb.

They were accompanied by the prison director, chaplain, and officials. Afterward, they went to the Vatican Museums, which reopened to visitors in May.

In March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, the Italian government prohibited visits to inmates.

Some inmates at the Rebibbia prison complex rioted in protest of the decision. In other places in Italy, prisoners began setting fires, taking hostages, and raiding prison medical clinics. At least 12 inmates died in the country in three days as a result of the riots.

This summer is one of the hottest on record in Italy. The Mediterranean island of Sicily registered a temperature of 119.84 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celsius) on Aug. 11, believed to be the highest ever recorded in Europe. Wildfires have raged in southern Italy.

Krajewski, 57, has served as papal almoner since 2013. The Polish national received the red hat from Pope Francis in 2018.

A year later, the cardinal nicknamed “the pope’s Robin Hood,” climbed down a manhole to restore power to a disused, Italian state-owned property in Rome where homeless people were living.


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3 Comments

  1. Said all my prayers, chores, nothing left to do so I’ll have some fun. “Almost 100 years ago, Good Humor® started a delicious revolution with the first ice cream on a stick and then the original ice cream truck. Millions of tips of the Good Humor Man’s hat later, we’re still bringing tasty frozen treats to hands and homes across America” (Good Humor). The truck alway played the same happy melody, a variation of Turkey in the Straw. America now under the withering scrutiny of Critical Race Theory, Systemic Racism has condemned the Good Humor song, discovered to have been performed ages past by minstrel men, demanding it be replaced with a new jingle by musician RZA. Good Humor trucks now servilely emblazoned with RZA’s name. Now that His Holiness sent Rome’s Regina Coeli prisoners Gelati cones [take my word best in Rome Piazza Savona] Gelati deliciously streaked with several flavor colors might there now be outcry from some quarter or other? Poor Francis’ good deed perhaps perceived as a cleverly conceived prop for transgender. I wonder?

  2. Ice Cream for prisoners in Rome, yet no heartfelt and much needed apology to the Canadian Residential school survivors, and most importantly coming to the ground where so many innocent children we buried after suffering in the Catholic run schools. Holy Father schools do not need graveyards. Holy Father these people of God deserve the apology you have been repeatedly asked to give. Yet you have time to send ice cream to prisoners, who I assume were guilty of some wrongdoing. Unlike those innocent children who were tossed out as garbage. What would Jesus do??

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