Pope late for Sunday sermon after getting stuck in elevator for 25 minutes

/ AP

Pope gets stuck in Vatican elevator

Thousands of people who were gathered in St. Peter's Square for the traditional Sunday on-the-dot-of-noon appearance by Pope Francis were watching for the window of the Apostolic Palace to be thrown open so they could listen to the pope's remarks and receive his blessing. But after seven minutes, the Pope still hadn't shown himself.

Then Francis popped out and answered their question: "First of all I must excuse myself for being late. I was blocked in an elevator for 25 minutes."

Apparently referring to electrical power, Francis explained there was a "drop in tension," causing the elevator to get stuck.

Pope Francis in an elevator at the Vatican. On September 1, 2019, Pope Francis had been trapped in the lift for 25 minutes because of a power outage before he was freed by firefighters. Pope Francis has apologized for arriving late for the Angelus, the weekly prayer in St. Peter's Square and he asked the crowd for a round of applause for the firefighters. Sipa via AP

"Thank God the firefighters intervened," Francis said, referring to tiny Vatican City State's own fire department. "Let's hear it for [them]!"

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He then asked for a round of applause for his rescuers, and went ahead with his regular remarks and blessings, concluding with an announcement that he has chosen 13 churchmen to become the Church's newest cardinals.

The Vatican didn't say if the pope was alone in the elevator or accompanied by any of his aides.

First published on September 1, 2019 / 5:01 PM

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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