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Pope explains decision not to live in papal apartments

May 30, 2013

In a letter to a friend in Argentina, Pope Francis has said that he chose to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, rather than in the papal apartments, so that he could have a more normal life.

The Pope said that he enjoys being “part of a family” at the Vatican’s guest house, where he can celebrate Mass daily and share meals with others in the dining hall of the residence. He uses the papal apartments for his office work and for papal audiences.

The Pope’s explanation of his choice was contained in a letter to an old friend, which was obtained by the Argentine daily Clarin.


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  • Posted by: Jim.K - May. 30, 2013 7:42 PM ET USA

    Previously I had never thought about, or questioned, the Pope's living arrangements. After all, he is the Vicar of Christ! But how did Christ live when He was on earth? Perhaps Pope Francis is on to something! It may be time the Church moved away from the "regal" trappings of the Middle Ages. Perhaps our Bishops should follow his example and live more as pastors and less like CEOs. Should our Bishops have "palaces" "servants" limos with drivers, etc? Or, perhaps, a more modest lifestyle?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 30, 2013 4:41 PM ET USA

    I've just finished reading an article that discusses people's responses to Pope Francis' simplicity. I'm somewhat surprised by how many people have been put off by the traditions of the Papacy. If that be true, we should expect many, many people to return to the Church, because they now have no excuse but to come.