Pope Francis will change Vatican's formalities

Habemus Papam: New Pope, new lifestyle in the Vatican

15.03.2013 - 12:00

New Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first South American Pontiff in more than 1,200 years and the first member of the Jesuit order to lead world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.


Habemus Papam Franciscum was the first message published by Pontiff's Twitter account and has become trending topic during the last days. Currently, tweets make reference to the new modus operandi he's establishing in the Vatican.

Bergoglio, who has chosen the name of Francis from St. Francis of Assisi, which invokes the simplicity, took a vow of poverty when he was 22 and everything indicates that he's not used to glitz and strict formalities.

The first sign was when Pope Francis individually received the congratulations of his fellow cardinals standing, instead of sitting in the papal throne. Besides, he was wearing  the cross from his time as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and not the gold pectoral cross usually worn by pontiffs.

Likewise, his papal vestment during the ceremony was a simple white cassock without the red, ermine-trimmed cape known as the mozzetta.

Several people have begun to say Pope Francis will  put a stamp of simplicity on papal life, in times when what people need to see modesty and not ostentation.

When he went pray on 14 March to Rome's  main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, he renounced to use the papal limousine and went by car. In addition, he entered the basilica through a side entrance.

Pope Francis, who was born to Italian immigrant parents and raised in Argentina, is known as a modest man who spoke out for the poor and led an austere life in Buenos Aires. As well, he used to cook his own dinners and take the bus to his office.

Pope's new habits will mean a big change for security services. However, according to Federico Lombardi, Vatican press office director,  “the security forces are at the service of the Pope, not the other way around” and security rules will be adapted to Pope's new lifestyle.

“We’re going to get used to a new way of doing things. Remember John Paul II, how many rules he broke, in terms of going where he wished to go and doing things in his own way and his own style”, he added.

Despite his lack of luxury, for security reasons, Pope Francis will make his main ride with the so-called popemobile, a white armored Mercedes SUV with an elevated glass enclosure.