Pope expresses «sorrow» at death of German-born homeless man near St. Peter’s Square

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The Pope at a general audience – Alberto Gandolfo/LaPresse via ZU / DPA

The Pope has expressed his «sorrow» at the death by cold last Wednesday night of a homeless man of German origin under the Bernini colonnade, which surrounds St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

«Francis learned with sorrow of the death of Burkhard Scheffler near the colonnade of St. Peter’s last night,» commented the director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni. In his prayer, the Pope remembers Burkhard and all those who are forced to live without a home, in Rome and throughout the world, and invites the faithful to unite with him.»

Scheffler – born in 1961 in Germany – was one of the homeless people who often roam the streets near the Vatican and are cared for by the Catholic Church’s charitable organizations. Specifically, he was receiving assistance from the Dicastery of Charity, which is presided over by the Polish cardinal, Konrad Krajewski, who has held the position of pontifical almoner since 2013. «Unfortunately, the last nights of cold and rain increased the fragility of his condition, already marked by life on the street,» Bruni lamented.