Pope Shuns Palace Apartment
He opts for hotel room over 12-room papal dwelling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2013 12:39 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano shows the study in the suite where Francis is living.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
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(Newser) – Pope Francis, much like his saintly namesake, is keeping things simple. He has shunned the fancy robes favored by his predecessor, and now he's broken with a tradition more than a century old by declining to move into the grand papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, Reuters reports. For now, he plans to stay in a simple two-room suite in the hotel-style Vatican building where he stayed during the papal conclave. The palace quarters he has declined have more than a dozen rooms, along with staff quarters and a terrace overlooking Rome.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis declined to move into the Bishop's Palace and lived in a simple apartment, often cooking his own meals, the BBC reports. His current quarters are in a communal building shared by priests, where he eats his meals in a communal dining room. "I can't make long-term predictions, but for now it seems he is experimenting with this type of simple co-habitation," a Vatican spokesman says. "It is still a period of getting used to things, of experimentation. Certainly in this phase he has expressed the desire to stay where he is."