Skip to comments.Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse, not papal apartments
Posted on 03/26/2013 11:48:33 AM PDT by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.
"He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," both the permanent residents -- priests and bishops who work at the Vatican -- as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Father Lombardi said March 26.
The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.
The Domus Sanctae Marthae, the official name of the guesthouse, was built in 1996 specifically to house cardinals during a conclave.
Celebrating Mass March 26 with the residents and guests, Pope Francis told them he intended to stay, Father Lombardi said. The permanent residents, who had to move out during the conclave, had just returned to their old rooms.
Pope Francis has been there since his election March 13, taking his meals in the common dining room downstairs and celebrating a 7 a.m. Mass with Vatican employees in the main chapel of the residence.
He will be the first pope in 110 years not to live in the papal apartments on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace.
In 1903, St. Pius X became the first pope to live in the apartments overlooking St. Peter's Square. The apartments were completely remodeled by Pope Paul VI in 1964 and have undergone smaller modifications by each pope since, according to "Mondo Vaticano," a Vatican-published mini-encyclopedia about Vatican buildings, offices and tradition.
The large living room or salon of the apartment is located directly above the papal library where official audiences with visiting bishops and heads of state are held.
Pope Francis will continue to use the library for official audiences and to recite the Angelus prayer on Sundays and holy days from the apartment window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Father Lombardi said.
The apartments contain a chapel, an office for the pope and a separate office for his secretaries, the pope's bedroom, a dining room, kitchen and rooms for two secretaries and for the household staff.
When Pope Francis returned to the guesthouse after his election, Father Lombardi had said the move was intended to be short-term while a few small work projects were completed in the papal apartments. He said March 26 that all the work had been completed, but at least for the foreseeable future, Pope Francis would not move in.
The Domus Sanctae Marthae, named after St. Martha, is a five-story building on the edge of Vatican City.
While offering relative comfort, the residence is not a luxury hotel. The building has 105 two-room suites and 26 singles; about half of the rooms are occupied by the permanent residents. Each suite has a sitting room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet and large closet; a bedroom with dresser, night table and clothes stand; and a private bathroom with a shower.
The rooms all have telephones and access to an international satellite television system.
The building also has a large meeting room and a variety of small sitting rooms. In addition to the dining room and the main chapel, it also has four private chapels, located at the end of hallways on the third and fifth floors of each of the building's two wings.
... which is probably akin to using the Bentley instead of the Rolls....
He might just be used to that style of living, and after decades of apartment/dorm style life doesn’t want to live in the Papal residence.
To be honest, I don’t care. Both have drawbacks and bonuses.
Enough already with the laying the groundwork of the simple man. If you’re going to live simply just do it and don’t advertise...that’s contrary against all we were taught.
Now my antenna is up...it comes to this after 7 Holy Fathers.
...also startled me into recalling images of the Arkenfuhrer with his bible. “Hey look at me I’m holy and righteous”.
Yeah, I’m with you. My favorite story in the Bible is the time Jesus told the lepers to go piss up a rope.
I mean, washing their FEET? Conduct unbecoming the King of Kings if ever I’ve seen it.
What’s an Arkenfuehrer?
How could his humbleness not be public?
Perhaps. From a security viewpoint, if there are more people that have access to the building and to him, then it is less safe for him than the papal apartments. Depending on how thorough the Vatileaks investigation was, the bad actors who haven't already been removed from service in the papal household could be removed.
I remember reading that the rooms that JPII and BXVI actually lived in were quite spartan.
I fail to see how this in any way saves money, or promotes the idea of “humility.” As you pointed out, ELS, the papal apartments have to be kept up whether he is living in them or not. And now the rooms he will be living in have to be kept up, as well. It will also be a huge headache for his staff, as anyone who has ever worked as a secretary or executive assistant well knows. Having the office and staff rooms near the Pope’s bedroom in the Vatican were done on purpose, so that his staff would have easy access to both him and the office (copiers, computers, phones, fax, files and filing cabinets, calendars, stationery, etc., etc.). Now the logistics will be a nightmare. Not to mention security. It will also be a huge imposition on the people who live permanently in the guest house. They will be subjected to security and all the problems that will go with the head of state living in their apartment building. On the contrary, I see this as causing a huge amount of discomfort for a very large number of people, and in that regard, it is displaying anything but humility. It seems quite selfish, to me.
He is the pope, he can’t avoid the publicity. He lived simply in Argentina and chooses to live simply at the Vatican.
He chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi who chose to live in poverty even though his family was wealthy. Poverty, living it to address the spiritual poverty that has overtaken our world and the human poverty that really ensues because of the spiritual poverty seems to be something he is going to base his papacy on.
I am ecstatic that he is taking bold steps. He is sending a message, a bold message and believe me the usual subjects are taking notice.
Pope Benedict’s papacy really laid the groundword for Pope Francis, Benedict slowly pulled the Church, especially the American church away from extreme liberalism. Liberal bishops have been replaced with conservative, faithful bishops and Pope Francis will have a much more receptive and obedient American church. I can only believe that this same pattern was followed throughout the world.
BTW, did you ever hear again from that Indian Catholic FReeper named “Eustace”?
So he’d be better off living in extreme luxury?
Wow! You’re going back into the time vaults, aren’t you? I had to think for a moment about who you meant, but the answer is “no.”
Jogged my memory....."I am well aware that I am the umblest person going. My mother is likewise a very umble person. We live in a umble abode. We are so very umble."
(Uriah Heep in "David Copperfield", chapter 16, by Charles Dickens).
“This well-publicized poverty bit is beginning to look contrived and ridiculous.”
I seriously doubt Francis wastes time creating news about his humility so that he can see himself being talked about on tv.
I agree with you. Some Catholics, however, will take offense over any criticism non-Catholics might make about things "Catholic". Though there IS a public awareness of the image being portrayed by the regalia and opulence on display at the Vatican, some think no one has any right to comment about it if they aren't Catholic or it is negative in any way. I respect the new Pope's desire to be, as well as appear, humble in his ministry. I wish him well.
Eustace and his comments were somewhat controversial here but he did one very nice thing for me. I had a question once in need of an answer — he actually had an EWTN priest friend of his call me and answer it. I did not ever speak to Eustace directly but had given him our phone number. Last email I got he was claiming to be in Australia.
Jeepers, dear steve86, but I don't! The picture I have of Pope Francis beginning to develop in my mind is that he is (1) a man of pristine orthodoxy; (2) politically astute WRT both intra- and extra-church matters. Meaning: By engaging in the World, he identifies the "point" at which Faith (Spirit) and Reason (human intellect) dynamically intersect.
In this way, Pope Francis carries on the pontifical work of his two splendid predecessors, Blessed John-Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Yet his history shows him to have been embroiled in disputes with the reigning powers of his home country, Argentina. I do believe he was exiled from there at one point, because his teachings on Life were inconvenient to the plans of the (still-sitting) "progressive" government there.
Although he is a Jesuit, it seems his order didn't want to have much to do with him at the time, or since.
It appears he is NOT a "Reformist" on theological/doctrinal matters. Also that it's likely he's going to give Church "Progressives" the fits, going forward.
Yet his modeling of Christian agape, humility and poverty in his very manner of living and dealing with others of all descriptions only gives power and force to his message to the World.
Which, of course, we have only just begun to hear.
In short, steve86, I think Pope Francis is demonstrably too much engaged in the the Church, its Message, its culture, its politics to be legitimately characterized as an "ascetic monk." It is the job of an ascetic monk to "withdraw" from the World. It doesn't look much to me like Pope Francis is "withdrawn" in this sense. Rather, I get the eerie feeling that his gaze is very much trained on the World at large, "outside" the Vatican....
We'll see if this humble assessment is correct, in due course....
p.s.: The Great Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace:Cardinal Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio took Francis' name for his papal name, for the first time in the history of the papacy.
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love;
Where there is injury, Pardon;
Where there is doubt, Faith;
Where there is despair, Hope;
Where there is sadness, Joy;
Where there is darkness, Light.
Oh Divine Master! Grant
That I may not so much seek to be consoled,
As to console;
Not so much to be understood,
As to understand;
Not so much to be loved,
As TO LOVE.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying
That we are born again
Unto Eternal Life.
What does this actually mean?
Stay tuned; time is the mother of Truth....