Honestly none of us know what is in the heart of the new Pope..but ponder this. Luxury and opulence not only give an image of excess but they also serve to corrupt. Perhaps he is not only serving as an example but is careful to keep himself humble as well, so he doesn’t become so concerned with the image and the lifestyle that he forgets his apostolic mission.
I know it’s fiction but a worthwhile analogy is Gandalf’s refusal to touch the ring. Same idea, in order to keep his humility he is denying himself the worldly treasures and comforts that tend to corrupt us and keep us from God. I doubt his behavior is all for show.
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.
From what I've seen so far, it also wouldn't surprise me that some of these types of moves are being done -- in part -- intentionally to "shake up" the complacency of the permanent Vatican staff. Basically sending the message that "business as usual" time is over.