Pope Francis renews passport as a regular Argentinian

Pope Francis' new national identification card and passport are seen in this undated handout photo taken by Argentina's Interior Ministry and distributed on Feb 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Pope Francis' new national identification card and passport are seen in this undated handout photo taken by Argentina's Interior Ministry and distributed on Feb 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (REUTERS) - Pope Francis wants to travel the world as a regular Argentinian and not a privileged citizen of the Vatican City microstate, Argentina said on Monday.

The head of the Catholic Church and former bishop of Buenos Aires has asked his birth country to renew his passport and identification card, the country's interior and transportation ministry said.

"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 coming days, he will receive his passport in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, where he has stated he is a resident," Mr Randazzo said.

Pope Francis has opted to live in the smaller Vatican guest house instead of the official papal apartments, part of the humble lifestyle he has embraced since assuming the papacy last year.

Argentina's government, which enjoys drawing attention to the popular new Pope's roots, released pictures of Pope Francis' new identification card on Monday.

Pope Francis already holds a passport issued by the Vatican, Mr Randazzo said.

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