Pope Francis renews passport as a regular Argentine

BUENOS AIRES Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:27pm EST

1 of 3. Pope Francis' new national identification card is seen in this undated handout photo taken by Argentina's Interior Ministry and distributed on February 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Interior Ministry/Handout via Reuters

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Pope Francis wants to travel the world as a regular Argentine 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," Randazzo said.

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 Francis' new identification card on Monday.

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

(Reporting by Guido Nejamkis; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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