As he did while cardinal, Pope Francis chooses simple apartment
Reflecting his beliefs on austerity, pope lives in simple Vatican residency
While renovations on the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace have been completed, Pope Francis wants to stay for the time being in a simple Vatican residence. The new pontiff wishes to surround himself with stark simplicity in lieu of moving into the spacious and regal papal apartments.
Pope Francis has set a more austere tone for the papacy than his predecessor Benedict XVI, who gained a reputation for sumptuous costumes.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi says that while the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, which consist of more than a dozen rooms as well as quarters for staff and a terrace are available, the pope shows no desire to move in any time soon.
Francis has moved out of a single room in the residence in the last few days, which has some 130 rooms, into a suite so he could have more space to work and to receive people, Lombardi said.
Francis has set a more austere tone for the papacy than his predecessor Benedict XVI, who gained a reputation for sumptuous costumes. Lombardi says the new pope enjoys the residence's community atmosphere where he lives alongside other clergy.
The pope says Mass in its chapel daily and invites Vatican workers and other guests to attend.
"I can't make long-term predictions, but for now it seems he is experimenting with this type of simple co-habitation," Lombardi said.
"It is still a period of getting used to things, of experimentation. Certainly in this phase he has expressed the desire to stay where he is," he said.
Lombardi says Pope Francis will be using the offices in the Apostolic Palace and its grand, frescoed reception rooms to meet heads of state and delegations, and will continue to appear each Sunday to deliver a blessing from the window of the papal apartments overlooking St. Peter's Square.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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