When 20 convicts were given the opportunity to dine with Pope Francis during a visit to Bologna, two Italian prisoners saw a unique opportunity. Rather than joining the pontiff in the "Luncheon of Solidarity" at the Basilica of St. Petronius, the pair managed to escape on October 1.

They have yet to be found.

The prisoners came from a drug rehabilitation center in the northern Italian city, in addition to refugees and the poor.

According to Bologna newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the prisoners took a powder during the hour of respite. It is not clear whether they stayed long enough to eat lunch. Pope Francis frequently visits prisoners during his trips and events. He has washed the feet of prisoners, for example, on Holy Thursday, and has held a Jubilee Mass for prisoners at the Vatican last year.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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