The newly appointed Pope Francis will not move into the Apostolic Palace papal apartments. Instead he has opted to live in a suite at the Vatican guesthouse.
Since he was elected as Pope, the Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has shunned Vatican traditions, opting for simpler, less costly alternatives, including his clothes and accessories. In fact over the weekend he personally called his local newsstand in Argentina to cancel his newspaper subscription.
Pope Francis I will be the first pope in 100 years who has chosen not to live at the papal apartments on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, revealed on Tuesday that the new leader of the Catholic Church will remain at the guesthouse where he has been staying since the conclave elected him.
He will move into the slightly more elegant suite 201 at the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse, which has a reception room. The guesthouse was built in 1996 to accommodate cardinals visiting for the conclave.
The Vatican spokesman told the National Catholic Reporter “He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others.”
The humble new Pope wants to have the ability to meet with priests and bishops at the Vatican as well as those guests who travel to the Papal city for meetings and conferences.
Pope Francis told the residents and other guests that he would become a permanent resident while celebrating Mass at the guesthouse on Tuesday.
The Pope has been staying at the small hotel and taking his meals in the common area with his election on March 13. It was planned that he would move into the papal apartment once some small modifications were completed, however, on Tuesday he announced he would stay on indefinitely at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The five-story building, on the edge of the Vatican City in Rome, is named after Saint Martha. The small hotel included 105 two-room suites and 26 single. Half the rooms are occupied by permanent residents.
Each suite contains a sitting room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet, and large closet; a bedroom with dresser, night table and clothes stand; and a private bathroom with a shower. All rooms have telephones, internet and satellite TV.
The guesthouse also has a large meeting room and a variety of other small meeting rooms, along with a dining room and chapel. There are also four private chapels.
The papal apartment at the Apostolic Palace is located above the papal library where the pope would have official audiences with visiting bishops and heads of state. The papal apartments also contains an office, and a separate office for the pope’s secretary, the pope’s bedroom, a dining room, kitchen and rooms for two secretaries and household staff.
Lombardi told the press that Pope Francis will continue to use the library for official audiences - to recite the Angelus on Sundays and Holy Days from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square.