- Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse, not papal apartments Catholic News Service 03/26/12:
Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.According to CNS, Francis will be the first pope in 110 years not to live in the papal apartments on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace.
"He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," both the permanent residents -- priests and bishops who work at the Vatican -- as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Father Lombardi said March 26. [...]
La Stampa's "The Vatican Insider" reports:
Pope Bergoglio’s fondness for community life in St. Martha’s House is quite obvious to everyone. The chance of meeting people, sitting down for meals with them, sharing parts of his day with the other residents and celebrating mass in a chapel that is able to hold a good number of people: all these reasons contributed to Francis’ decision to stay, which he communicated to the other guests of St. Martha’s House, first of all to the fifty priests and monsignors who work in the Roman Curia and were able to return to their rooms following the Conclave.
Vatican Insider has learnt that there was an objection to the Pope’s decision to stay in St. Martha’s and that is that Curia priests were meant to return to their rooms and if Francis stayed there he would have direct contact with hem. Bergoglio apparently replied: “I am used to being with my priests.”
- Two books by Pope Francis released Newsday 03/26/13:
Pope Francis' first two publications hit Italian bookstores Tuesday and their titles, "Humility: The Path to God" and "Healing from Corruption," hint at the road map for his papacy, experts said.
About 60 pages each, the books are a compilation of his homilies and essays, published in Argentina between the 1980s and '90s, when he was a prominent Jesuit teacher and before he was appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires.
“Guarire dalla corruzione” (orig. “Corrupcion y pecado”) is a text on morality. Based on an analysis of the spread of corruption in Argentine society and around the world, it locates the root of this evil within the heart. The text makes a novel distinction between the phenomena of corruption and sin. The afterword is written by Judge Pietro Grasso, president of the Italian Senate and former head of Italy's national anti-mafia prosecutor's agency.
“Umilta, la strada verso Dio” (orig. “Sobre la acusacion de si mismo”) has a strongly spiritual character. It introduces a text—widely cited in the book—by Dorotheus of Gaza, a 6th century Church Father, on humility. The book includes an appendix written by the prior of the ecumenical Monastic Community of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, who updates Dorotheus' message through the reading offered by Pope Francis.
- Pope App Tops iTunes Charts, by Catholic News Agency. 03/26/13. A Vatican-sponsored news application for smartphones known as “The Pope App” has risen to the top of the charts in the iTunes store, reflecting a spike in interest in the papacy and newly elected Pope Francis.
- Excerpt From English-language Biography, "Pope Francis" Here is the Introduction to the biography "Pope Francis," written by Matthew Bunson and due to be released by Our Sunday Visitor in April. (Zenit 03/26/13).
Zenit also carries an interview with papal biographer Matthew Bunson:
length biography. And yet, how would you summarize the character and personality of our new Pope?
Bunson: Pope Francis came to the papacy very much at ease with himself and grounded squarely in his spirituality and commitment to humility and service. His personality is one that has been formed powerfully by Ignatian spirituality and by the long years of service as a priest, bishop and cardinal in a country that has immense wealth and staggering poverty, at times in close proximity one to the other. He has a great practicality to his approach to problems, which is matched by his humility, personal warmth and well-attested intelligence. As cardinal, he was especially respected for his ability to build consensus and respect the opinions of others. This was seen in 2001 during the Synod of Bishops -- when he stepped in as relator for Cardinal Egan of New York immediately after 9/11 -- and in 2007 at Aparecida, Brazil. These different characteristics point to someone who is exceptionally authentic, prayerful and striving to bring Christ to others. It is going to be a remarkable pontificate to study and appreciate.
- Reading the Papal Tea Leaves, by George Neumayer. Crisis Magazine 03/26/12:
The picture that is forming of Pope Francis from all these bits and pieces is not that of a Ratzingerian restorationist but of a centrist prelate whose theological views, tone, and emphases are characteristic of the post-Vatican II period. He is no Hans Kung. He is too pro-life and Marian for that level of theological conjecture. But it is a stretch to think that he shares Benedict’s rigorous critique of the crisis within the Church and the modern world. There is a reason why the progressive bloc within the previous conclave saw him as a desirable alternative to Ratzinger.