• John Thavis

Pope Francis to stay in Vatican guest house

Word comes from the Vatican today that, as speculated here last week, Pope Francis is opting to stay in the Vatican guest house rather than moving into the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace — at least for now.

The reasons seem clear: Francis likes simplicity, and his quarters at the Domus Sanctae Marthae are much more simple than the 10-room apartment on the other side of St. Peter’s Square. He also likes being with people, and at the Domus he’s been much less cut off than in the Apostolic Palace. He celebrates Mass with groups every morning, shares meals with other guests in the dining room and sometimes goes outside to walk.

This means the new pope will be “commuting” through the Vatican Gardens to his office area in the Apostolic Palace, where he generally meets with aides and visiting guests. But that’s the way he wants it, and it’s his decision — after all, he is pope.

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