Pope Francis to travel with Argentinean passport

Pontiff rejects diplomatic passport

Gerard O’Connell

Pope Francis will travel the world with his Argentinean passport, and not use a Vatican diplomatic one.

He completed the procedure for a new passport and a new ID card as any ordinary citizen of the country would do, Argentina’s Minister of the Interior stated on February 16.  

Thus, this humble Successor of Peter continues to astound the world by acting in a very normal way.  It is but the latest instance of what in Rome has become known as “the scandal of normality”.

Laying aside the privilege of a Vatican diplomatic passport which is his by right as head of the Vatican City State, Francis has opted instead to continue using his Argentine one. Thus, he will travel to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem next May using this passport only.  

“His Holiness communicated with Juan Pablo Cafiero, our ambassador to the Vatican, and informed him that he wishes to continue travelling the world with an Argentinean passport.  For this reason he began the process on Friday through the digital centre that we have functioning in Rome”, the Minister, Florencio Randazzo said in a statement.

Subsequently, last Friday morning, February 14, the ambassador and consul went to Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where the Pope lives. They met Francis there, completed the application, and took his photo, fingerprint, and signature. The Pope then paid the fee, the ambassador said.

Argentina’s Minister Randazzo said “this new gesture of the Pope to our country fills us with pride” and though he could have taken advantage of a Vatican passport, “he chose to renew his passport and New ID card so as to travel the world in his role as highest representative of the Catholic Church with a travel document like every other Argentinean citizen”.

Gerard O’Connell writes for Vatican Insider.