He might have scored the cover of Rolling Stone last month, but Pope Francis has reassured us all that his feet are very firmly on the ground – by eschewing Vatican travelling privileges and simply renewing his ordinary passport.
The self-styled Pope of the people also renewed his Argentine ID card and went through the usual processes of posing for photographs and signing applications.
“Francis specifically asked not to enjoy any privileges so his new identification card and passport have been processed through the usual administrative channels”, Minister Florencio Randazzo said in a statement reported by Reuters.
"In coming days, he will receive his passport in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, where he has stated he is a resident," Randazzo added.
The 77-year-old automatically received a Vatican-issued passport with all the privileges accorded to a head of state, but the fact he wishes to retain his Argentina passport “makes us proud”, Randozzo told Radio Vaticana.
Pope Francis has followed a famously frugal lifestyle with oft-delivered messages of solidarity with the poor and encourages other church leaders to do the same.
And he wears an ordinary priest’s robe and rides a bus to work, having given up his chauffeur-driven limousine.