Pope Francis opts for Vatican guesthouse instead of papal apartment

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conclave hotel

To ensure electors in the papal conclave are sequestered from any outside influence, all voting cardinals will be housed in the Domus Sancta Martha (St. Martha's House), a plain but capable $20 million hotel built just for this purpose by Pope John Paul II in 1996. The conclave's task is to choose a successor to John Paul II. Photo by Rene Shaw.

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) With his move to a Vatican guesthouse, Pope Francis becomes the first pope since 1903 not to live in the regal papal apartment that overlooks St. Peter's Square.

  • gilhcan

    It’s good that Pope Francis is opting to rid the papacy and its Vatican of some of its monarchical madness. The ways the hierarchy have been living has nothing to do with Jesus of the Gospels. The more Francis dumps the royal trappings, the more genuinely religious/spiritual the church can start to be. Also, go back full speed to all of the declarations of Vatican II that John Paul II and Benedict have destroyed with their “reform of the reform.”

    If papal security is an anxious concern, another first step would be for popes to quit wearing stand-out white–or red. In fact, regular clothing like everyone else would do just fine. That can be extended to all clergy and religious. I don’t recall anything in the New Testament like “By their clothing and other trappings you will know them.” I do recall, “You will recognize them by their behavior.”

    In line with all this, one of the first loud and clear actions Francis should take should be to call off the gestapo investigation of U.S. nuns instigated by Benedict and his Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith henchman, William Levada. Instead of investigating those nuns and taking them over, the Vatican would do well to learn from them, imitate their good works. Most of them and their good work resembles St. Francis!

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  • Let me know when he decides to sell the Vatican to feed the world. Then I’ll be impressed. Taking the smaller mansion instead of the larger mansion doesn’t impress me.

  • mzcharles

    Thank you “gilhcan”: you’ve clearly expressed my thoughts, held for many, many years.
    If the Pope is to truly represent Christ on earth, then he must live up to Christ’s words, “to be a servant …”, to “take the lowest place …”, among many others.
    Get rid of the red & gold accoutrements, and live a simple life, teaching by his humble actions, not by his glitz & glamour.

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  • Christ had no place to rest his head…perhaps ALL the red-cloaked clerics amidsst their comfy lifestyle could reflect on simplicity and charity: GIVE to the poor, SHELTER the homeless, COMFORT the lonely, abandoned…
    Let us mantra PEACE, rm

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  • Chuck

    The Pope’s “more modest living quarters” aren’t even close to what you’d get at a Hampton Inn. A luxury 5 star hotel in NYC…maybe closer. He may only have a 2 room “apartment”, but when you’re the Pope, you have full run of the entire Vatican City and almost every room in it, so don’t be fooled by all the media covering his living modest and frugal, which also applies to him driving a used car. He doesn’t drive it into a normal town like normal people, he drives it around in Vatican City as well..in case he misses the bus and he rides with the Cardinals. What’s so modest or frugal about that? Nothing. There’s MUCH about Francis that most people don’t know about, and in his time being the Pope, how much has he REALLY done to change the church? Women are still stuck in the same place they were a century ago, and gays..forget about it. The church is still as backward as ever, but they’ve got one hell of a P.R. man onboard now!