World leaders and officials take part at Pope Francis's inauguration mass in St Peter's Square. (CIRO FUSCO/EPA)

Per new post-sequester rules announced by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), members must fly commercial instead of taking military aircraft for overseas trips — and they have to pay for the privilege of no legroom and crummy in-flight food out of their own office budgets or their committee’s purse.

But this trip got a bit of special treatment. We’re told that members attending it did not, in fact, have to dip into their office budgets to buy tickets. Good thing, because a round-trip flight to Rome, on relatively short notice, can be pricey! Instead, the trip was paid for from a State Department account used for such official outings.

The group was led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and those attending included Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and House chaplain Patrick Conroy.