Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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Papal almoner, in act of civil disobedience, turns on power to occupied building

May 13, 2019

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, in what he acknowledged was a “desperate gesture,” broke into an electrical meter to restore power to a building occupied by 400 people in Rome, whose utility services had been shut off for non-payment.

Cardinal Krajewski, who is the papal almoner (the official in charge of the Pope’s personal charities), used his background as an electrical worker to restore electrical power to the building. He acknowledged that his action violated the law, and said he would take responsibility. The cardinal said that he acted because “we are talking about human lives.”

The building in Rome has been occupied since 2013 by “Action,” a radical movement working to expand public housing. The building now houses scores of families, as well as a brewery and a popular night club. Although the occupiers operate money-making ventures in the building, they have not paid utility bills, which now amount to about €300,000 ($337,000).


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  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - May. 14, 2019 8:03 PM ET USA

    Would it not have been more just to pay their electric bill? As almoner, he could solicit benefactors for them. The utility will no doubt cut off service again. This act does not seem the result of the good exercise of the virtues of prudence and justice.