Pope Francis may be the head of the Vatican state, but he is not giving up the right to travel as just another Argentinian citizen.
The leader of the Catholic Church has renewed his passport and national identity card, and Argentina's Vatican envoy said on Monday that the pope insisted on paying for the documents himself. He was fingerprinted in the process.
Renewing Argentina's passports and identity cards usually cost about US$55 at the official exchange rate.
"He wanted it for when he travels. The Argentine passport is valuable for that," Vatican ambassador Juan Pablo Cafiero said.
The ministry distributed official photos of the documents that were manipulated to blot out the identity number and signature.
In contrast to the smiling Francis whose welcoming gestures have thrilled Catholics around the world, that photo shows him posing in his white papal outfit in classic Argentinian style, with a serious, even annoyed, expression. Photo: EPA