The Pope’s refusal to vacation at Castel Gandolfo has had some unfortunate side effects:
Over the last few years, as Francis’ choice to not take time off at Castel Gandolfo became more and more apparent, Vatican officials have begun opening up bits and pieces to the public. This summer, not only will visitors be able to tour the ground of the papal palace, but for the first time in history anyone can step foot in the pope’s private chambers, Winfield reports.
On one hand, this is a good alternative for the Vatican, as turning Castel Gandolfo into a museum puts the estate to good use without having to sell it. But for the locals, many of whom traditionally make much of their living when the pope—and his throngs of followers—came into town for the holiday, Pope Francis’ decision to stay away from the estate isn’t quite as commendable, Pullella reports.
“We fear it will be a tombstone for us if future popes follow his example,” Castel Gandolfo mayor Milvia Monachesi tells Pullella. “The fact that the palace is now a museum will make a reversal in the future difficult.”
Whether or not future popes decide to resume residencies at Castel Gandolfo is impossible to say. But for now, the estate’s vacancy offers the rare opportunity to peek inside the living quarters that housed some of the most powerful leaders in world history.
Go here to read the rest. Two observations. First, the Jesuits that PopeWatch have known have not demonstrated total non-concern for their comfort. Second, the pursuit of a humble life is probably good for an ecclesiastic, but it can be taken to extremes. PopeWatch recalls that one of Gandhi’s associates one time mused at how much it cost to have Gandhi live a life of ostentatious poverty. Pride can grow in poverty almost as easily as it grows in wealth.