Much has already been made of the fact that the new pontiff, Pope Francis, typically rode the bus to work as cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, and that he lived in a small apartment and did his own cooking. Apparently he also rode the bus back from St. Peter’s with the rest of the cardinals after having been elected pope. Cardinal Timothy Dolan told reporters at a press conference today:
“So we take the buses over and cardinals kind of wait outside to greet the new Holy Father as he comes back to Doma Santa Marta…and as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off the bus? Pope Francis,” Dolan said. “So I guess he told the driver, ‘That’s OK. I’ll just go with the guys on the bus.’”
According to Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, Pope Francis phoned Pope Emeritus Benedict shortly after his election.
Fr. Lombardi also disclosed a few details about the first days of Pope Francis’ pontificate. From Vatican Radio:
Fr. Lombardi confirmed that the Mass for the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry will be held March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, at 09:30 Rome time.
He also confirmed that the Mass for the closure of Conclave will be at 17:00 Thursday in the Sistine Chapel. On Friday, at 11 a.m., there will be an audience with the College of Cardinals in the Clementine Hall. [On] Saturday 11 a.m. Pope Francis will have audience with all journalists and media covering conclave- an announcement greeted with a round of applause in the briefing hall. And finally on Sunday Pope Francis will recite Angelus at noon.
Thursday, Pope Francis will make a private visit to a sanctuary of Our Lady on Thursday March 14th, but details will be released only when this visit is over.
Fr. Lombardi also said that Pope Emeritus Benedict will not attend his successor’s installation Mass.