Vatican City

Pope Francis shunning perks and pomp of new office

Uses cardinals' bus instead of official car

Pope Francis shunning perks and pomp of new office

Vatican City, March 14 - Pope Francis is shunning the perks and pomp of office like the saint he took his name from. He waved off the "solemn" pontifical car laid on after he became pope Wednesday night and insisted on going back to the cardinals' residence in a minibus with the former colleagues who had just elected him, Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters Thursday. When he left his hotel Thursday morning, Lombardi added, "He paid his bill to set a good example". As Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, the new pope was known for living in a modest flat and using public transport. Pope watchers have also noted Francis is not wearing a new golden papal cross around his neck, keeping his simple, small silver one, and has eschewed the dainty red shoes sported by his predecessor Benedict XVI. Francis, who became the first non-European pope in 1,300 years after Benedict's shock abdication last month, has said he chose his name to recall St Francis, the 13th-century former nobleman and founder of the Franciscan order who wore a simple cassock instead of the grand robes of other orders, living in poverty and tending to the poor.

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