Shunning as always any preferential treatment to his position as head of state of Vatican City, Pope Francis renewed his passport, falling in line just like a regular guy. Moreover, he renewed his passport as an Argentinean national and not in his official capacity as the head of the Roman Catholic church.
Reuters the end of the Easter mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 31, 2013.
On Monday, despite having a Vatican passport which affords him massive privileges as heads of state, Pope Francis asked the government of his birth country Argentina to renew his passport and identification card.
"Francis specifically asked not to enjoy any privileges so his new identification card and passport have been processed through the usual administrative channels," Florencio Randazzo, Argentina's interior and transportation ministry, told Reuters.
Mr Randazzo added it was a moment of pride for the Argentinean nation that the pope also decided to stick to his birth citizenship. Bishops elected to become popes automatically adopt Vatican citizenship, he said. The passport renewal "fills us with pride."
He also shared that the 266th heir to St Peter's throne shunned any privileges leading to the processing of his new identification card and passport, including paying for it from his own pocket.
According to the Daily Mail, renewal of Argentine passports and identity cards cost about $55 at the present exchange rates.
In July 2013, for his first overseas international trip since becoming pontiff, Pope Francis carried his own luggage bag, fell in line and then wait for his turn to board commercial aircraft Alitalia for his week-long visit to Brazil in celebration of the World Youth Day 2013 festivities in his home continent.
Processed through the usual administrative channels, Pope Francis will also have to wait before he gets to actually receive on hand his new legal identification documents.
"In coming days, he will receive his passport in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, where he has stated he is a resident."
Pope Francis is not only the overall spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, he also heads Vatican City, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.