Pope Francis invites prisoners to lunch, instead they escape

Pope Francis invites prisoners to lunch, instead they escape

Pope Francis invites prisoners to lunch, instead they escape

Pope Francis lunches with poor people, refugees, and the 18 prisoners who did not escape, at San Petronio Basilica in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1, 2017. (Credit: L'Osservatore Romano via CNA.)

Pope Francis regularly includes prisoners in his trips and events, including washing the feet of prisoners on Holy Thursday and holding a Jubilee Mass for prisoners at the Vatican last year. Recently, two prisoners took the opportunity presented during a meeting with the pope to escape.

– They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis.

During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica.

Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as a prime opportunity for escape.

According to Bologna newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the prisoners escaped sometime during the hour, though it is unclear whether they first ate lunch. They have yet to be found.

The newspaper quoted an official saying the two men are not “unaccustomed to such acts.”

Francis regularly includes prisoners in his trips and events, including washing the feet of prisoners on Holy Thursday and holding a Jubilee Mass for prisoners at the Vatican last year.

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