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Pope Opts for Simpler Apartment

At least for the time being, Pope Francis has decided not to move into the palatial Vatican apartment reserved for the Holy Father and will continue to live in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been staying since the beginning of the conclave that elected him earlier this month.

The Catholic News Service is reporting that Pope Francis will not be residing in the Apostolic Palace. Instead, he will remain in the guesthouse, known as the Domus Sanctae Marthae, but did move to a slightly larger suite where he will have more room to receive guests."He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," such as priests and bishops who work at the Vatican, said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

Pope Francis made the announcement himself while celebrating Mass for residents and guests at the house on March 26. He simply informed them that he intended to stay there and will continue his habit of dining in the common dining room and celebrating Mass every morning at 7:00 a.m. in the main chapel of the residence.

However, he will continue to use the library in the Apostolic Palace for official audiences and to recite the Angelus prayer on Sundays and holy days from the apartment window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Father Lombardi said.

Pope Francis will be the first pope in 110 years to chose not to live in the papal apartment, which contain a large living room, a chapel, an office for both the pope and for his secretaries, a bedroom, dining room and kitchen.

Instead, he will stay in the guesthouse, a modest five-story building located on the edge of Vatican City. Residents have a suite of two rooms consisting of a sitting room and a bedroom with a dresser, night stand and private bathroom with shower. All rooms have telephones and access to a satellite television system.

As per Father Lombardi, this will be the pope's residence "until further notice."

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