Pope Francis eats lunch with the poor, refugees and detainees in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano

Two prisoners flee during a lunch with Pope Francis

By  Catholic News Agency
  • October 17, 2017

Bologna, Italy – 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 inmtes from the coastal city of Napoli 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. Some reports say that the prisoners left before the lasagna was served.

They have yet to be found. Police are requesting for the public's cooperation to find the two Neopolitan fugitives. 

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. 

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