A tale of two popes: Francis vs. his predecessor


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Much has been made of how Pope Francis is modernizing the Catholic church. But what are some of the other differences between him and his predecessor, Pope Benedict?

A tale of two popes: Francis vs. his predecessor

In part, it comes down to their earthly possessions.

Benedict famously preferred the finer things in life, earning him the nickname "the Prada Pope." Francis, known as the "People's Pope," has focused less on material goods.

But how do the two really stack up?

His tech
Pope Francis wins the tech game. Pope Benedict reportedly owned a specially-engraved iPad nano — given to him by a group of Vatican Radio employees for his 75th birthday. But Pope Francis once owned a personalized iPad — until he gave it away to a charity auction to benefit a school in Uruguay. The iPad fetched more than $30,000.

In general, this pope likes technology: In a papal statement last year, he called the Internet "a gift from God," saying it "offers immense possibilities for encounters and solidarity" and calling it "something truly good."

And while Benedict was the first Pope on Twitter, Francis has a strong twitter game, having gotten more than 7 million followers on the official papal account @pontifex which he uses as a digital bully pulpit to preach compassion and frugality, among other things:

He has even been known to do the occasional tweet storm, sounding off on climate change and other things.

His wheels
Pope Francis eschews a high-end "Popemobile." Whereas Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, opted for bulletproof glass-encased Mercedes-Benz cars, Francis prefers less ostentatious transportation. He reportedly uses a Ford Focus while in Rome and drives himself around the Vatican in a 1984 Renault hatchback.

His digs
Pope Francis also prefers more modest living quarters. Instead of setting up in the Papal Palace, the home of each Pope for more than a century, Francis prefers a simple room at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, a sort of guest house next door to St. Peter's Basilica.

"It is large and made with good taste, but not luxurious," Francis once told an Italian magazine. "Only one person at a time can get in and I cannot live alone. I must live my life with others."

His threads
Pope Francis also wears more modest outfits than his predecessor who was dubbed once called "the Prada Pope" because of his love of fine fashion, which reportedly included Serengeti sunglasses and red, custom-made shoes, done by a personal cobbler.

Francis, on the other hand, prefers his footwear in a neutral black. He also skips some of the traditional papal regalia, including the red cape. Even his bling is less blingy: Francis wears a ring made of gold-plated silver instead of one made of solid gold.

Fuente: mashable.com
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