As we've learned, Pope Francis hasn't needed the flashy homes that come along with being a high-ranking religious figure. (He's clearly not praying for the same things we are.) And even now that he has access to one of the grandest estates in the world -- the papal residence at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace -- he's still turning it down. Where is it that he would prefer to stay instead? A hotel.
The new pontiff has been staying in a simple suite at the Casa Santa Marta hotel (pictured above and at left) while the pope's official home at Palazzo Apostolico (Apostolic Palace) was being renovated. But work is done, and the papal residence is move-in ready. Yet Francis won't budge and has decided to continue living in the hotel room for the time being, CNN reported a Vatican spokesman as saying. No date has been set for Francis' move.
According to CNN, Pope Francis' decision to stay at Casa Santa Marta near St. Peter's Basilica means that the pontiff will be able to meet his fellow priests for Mass and other communal activities. He will still use the Palazzo Apostolico for meetings and papal engagements. Francis' hotel suite is where he and all cardinals stayed during the papal conclave to elect a new pope.
Pope Francis' decision to remain at Casa Santa Marta is consistent with his reputation as a humble and simple man. Before being elected pope, Francis passed up the opportunity as the head of Argentina's archbishop to live in the grand Archbishop's Palace in Buenos Aires. Instead, he chose to live in a "small room" in a downtown Buenos Aires apartment building, where he commuted by bus to the Metropolitan Cathedral. In this humble space, Then-Cardinal Bergoglio even did his own cooking -- and the place was only heated by a small stove, said USA Today.
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