Pope Francis living in 'simple' Vatican residence

Tuesday 26 March 2013 20.27
Francis has set a more austere tone for the papacy than his predecessor
Francis has set a more austere tone for the papacy than his predecessor

Pope Francis wants to stay in a simple Vatican residence instead of moving into the spacious and regal papal apartments for the time being, the Vatican has said.

The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is still living in the Domus Santa Martha.

It is a modern hotel-style residence inside the Vatican City where he stayed during the conclave that elected him on 13 March.

Although the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace are available, he shows no desire to move in any time soon, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

In the past few days, the pope moved out of a single room in the residence into a suite so he could have more space to work and to receive people, Mr Lombardi said.

Francis has set a more austere tone for the papacy than his predecessor Benedict XVI.

Fr Lombardi said the new pope enjoys the residence's community atmosphere where he lives alongside other clergy.

The Pope says mass in its chapel every morning and invites Vatican workers and other guests to attend.

"I can't make long-term predictions, but for now it seems he is experimenting with this type of simple co-habitation," Fr Lombardi said.

"It is still a period of getting used to things, of experimentation," he said.

Fr Lombardi said the pope will be using the offices in the Apostolic Palace and its grand reception rooms to meet heads of state and delegations.

Francis will continue to appear each Sunday to deliver a blessing from the window of the papal apartments overlooking St Peter's Square.