Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pope Francis Shuns Grand Apartment for Two Rooms

Pope Francis has decided to shun a grand papal apartment on the top floor of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace in favour of a modest two-room residence.

His spokesman said he was "trying out this type of simple living" in a communal building with other priests.

In doing so he has broken a tradition which is more than a century old.

The decision reinforces the newly-elected Pope's austere reputation. As archbishop of Buenos Aires he refused to move into the Bishop's Palace.

Preferring more modest accommodation, he also often cooked his own meals.

Since the reign of Pope Pius X at the beginning of the 20th Century every pope has occupied the palatial penthouse apartment with more than a dozen rooms, staff quarters, a terrace and extensive views over the city of Rome.

But since his election Pope Francis has been living in a simple two-room suite in the Domus Santa Marta - a hotel-style residence built by Pope John Paul II next to St Peter's Basilica.

And he intends to go on living there for the foreseeable future, according to the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

"This morning he let his fellow cardinals know that he will keep living with them for a certain period of time," Mr Lombardi said.

He said he could not say whether the Pope would remain in these quarters in the long term.

As one observer of the Pope put it to me, early on:
I don't know what to make of it. Is it ostentatious simplicity, or publicity seeking, or genuine simplicity?


  1. It's incredibly ostentatious. Not only did he used to ride the bus like a commoner, but he made sure everyone knew he was riding the bus. He turned down cushy digs, and made sure everyone knew.

    What ever happened to "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"?

  2. Unknown, how have you come to the conclusion that Francis is a Marxist? If anything, he's far more religiously orthodox than Jesuits are normally made out to be. Plus, he was very critical of liberation theology, which was more Marxist than Christian. And the last time I checked, a fundamental premise of Marxism is atheism, which is, you know, not Christian.

    As far as whether Francis is going to come out with anti-free market remarks, shouldn't we wait for any remarks before we respond to them? Just because one lives simply doesn't mean that a person is anti-market. If anything, if I recall from the first volume of Rothbard's History of Economic Thought, there were several priests during the Scholastic period, including a Franciscan!, who developed economic concepts that were very consistent with the free market.