Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pope's New More Modest Digs

A priest friend of mine wrote today on his blog about Pope Francis' decision to not live in the Papal apartments and instead reside at Casa Santa Marta.  I wholeheartedly concur with Fr. Pablo Migone's thinking about why the Pope is making this choice.  Once again, our Pope is challenging us to evaluate how extravagantly we live to better model Christ to a complacent world.

       "Pope Francis has decided to remain at the Casa Santa Marta rather than moving into the Papal Apartments Palace where past Popes have lived. The Pope did move from the room assigned to him when he arrived for the conclave to a VIP room at the Casa Santa Marta. Federico Lombardi explained that the room is larger and gives the Pope the possibility to more easily receive visitors and guests. Francis will still use the Papal Apartments in the Apostolic Palace for audiences, gatherings and daily activities.

Based on the Pope's actions and words during the first days of his Papacy, this move does not come as a surprise. It is consistent with his desire to live simply and follows his actions in Buenos Aires where he preferred to live in an apartment rather than in the archbishop's house. Some had already joked he would sell the Apostolic Palace and move into an apartment in the nearby Borgo Pio.

          Many may find this disconcerting, that the Pope does not want to live in the place where Popes have traditionally lived for centuries. I believe it is his decision and should not shatter anyone's faith. If our faith and trust in Jesus Christ depends on where the Pope lives, we have serious problems.

          As I wrote a few days ago, I believe our new Pope is the Papal version of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. This is what the Church needs today in order to make uncomfortable a world (and a Church, especially in wealthy countries!) that has become too comfortable and complacent."
Amen to that, Pablo!

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