THE TABLET: Francis tells Argentines not to travel to Rome but to give air fare to poor
- (He's not addressing this to CFK, is he?)
Francis tells Argentines not to travel to Rome but to give air fare to poor
Christopher Lamb in Rome - 15 March 2013
Pope Francis has issued a message to the faithful in his homeland saying that he does not want them to travel to Rome for his inauguration and instead they should give the money they would have spent to charity.
In a letter sent to the bishops of Argentina the country's papal nuncio thanks the bishops, priests, religious and laity for the prayers and the expressions of warmth, affection, and charity that he has received.
But the letter, written by Archbishop Emil Tscherrig, goes on to say: "At the same time, he [Pope Francis] would wish that, instead of going to Rome for the beginning of his pontificate next 19 March, you may keep this spiritual closeness that is so much appreciated, accompanying it with some gesture of charity towards those most in need."
Pope Francis made the same request when he was made a cardinal in February 2001.
The new Pope is known for his commitment to helping the poor and living simply. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he sold the archiepiscopal residence and moved into a modest apartment and travels by public transport.
The latest move is another sign of Pope Francis' desire to deflate any pomp around the papacy.
There have also been signs that he will be given to informality and spontaneity. The new Pope has been offered pre-prepared homilies and speeches for his first public engagements by Vatican officials. But yesterday, in a break with convention during his first Mass as Pope in the Sistine Chapel, he delivered his own homily without notes.
This morning he greeted cardinals in the Sala Clementina (Clementine Hall).
It is understood that he will imminently re-appoint the heads of Vatican departments to their positions - they lose their jobs during the papal interregnum.
However Pope Francis is expected to make changes to senior positions in the Roman Curia. The first of these is likely to be the Holy See's Secretary of State. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, who held the post under Benedict XVI, is 78-years-old, three years beyond the retirement age for bishops.
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