Pope Francis shuns papal holiday to stay in Vatican

VATICAN CITY Thu Jun 6, 2013 7:35pm IST

Pope Francis catches a rosary thrown by faithful as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Pope Francis catches a rosary thrown by faithful as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican June 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis broke with another papal tradition on Thursday and revealed he will not spend his summer in the lavish palace in the hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo, host to popes for centuries and a favoured retreat of his predecessor Benedict.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that Francis would stay in the Vatican City over the summer despite the usually stifling heat in Rome.

He will remain in the Domus Santa Marta, a modern hotel-style residence where he has lived since his elevation in March, choosing not to move into the spacious and regal papal apartments.

Millions of people in recession-hit Italy are likely to make a similar decision this year. Official data last month showed that one in two Italians were unable to afford one week of holiday away from home in 2012.

The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has set a humble tone for the papacy. He has said he wants the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church to focus on helping the poor and to become more austere itself.

He will visit Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban Hills outside Rome, to say a Sunday blessing on July 14, Lombardi said. He is due to visit Brazil later in the month, his first trip abroad as pontiff.

Benedict, the first pope to abdicate in 600 years, liked to spend his summers in Castel Gandolfo and also chose to spend the first few months of his retirement in the complex of hilltop villas boasting lush gardens, a farm and stunning views.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Downing Of Flight MH17

REUTERS SHOWCASE

New President

New President

Indonesian president-elect Jokowi calls for unity after bitter election.  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crash

Ukraine Crash

Putin says will use influence on Ukraine rebels, denounces West.  Full Article 

Thai Coup

Thai Coup

Thai junta leader could be PM under interim charter - adviser.  Full Article 

Food Safety Scandal

Food Safety Scandal

Safety violations at McDonald's, Yum China supplier company-led - regulator  Full Article 

Death of a Spy

Death of a Spy

Britain does U-turn on ex-KGB agent Litvinenko murder inquiry.  Full Article 

Flights Affected

Flights Affected

U.S., European airlines halt flights to Israel due to instability.  Full Article 

Truce Plan

Truce Plan

Abbas-led Palestinian body backs Hamas truce demands in Gaza.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage