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.
BTW, did you ever hear again from that Indian Catholic FReeper named “Eustace”?
I was actually in Rome for Palm Sunday (I’m on Malta right now and will be here for Holy Week and Easter) and I saw Pope Francis. He did a great job at the mass and preached a wonderful homily, which I actually understood because he speaks Italian with a Latin American Spanish accent. It was very inspiring and we all went out ready to missionize the world!
Then I saw all sorts of stupid posts about the fact that Francis had another priest sing at the Elevation and that he didn’t genuflect. He didn’t sing because he can’t - he has only one lung, having had to have the other one removed as a teenager; and he doesn’t kneel at the altar because he can’t necessarily get up again. Notice that his assistants have to help him up and down the steps of the altar.
Why in the world are people so eager to read base motives into everything he does?