Pope Francis Renews Argentine Passport, National ID Card Like a Regular Citizen

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 17 2014 5:43 PM

Pope Francis Renews Argentine Passport, National ID Card Like a Regular Citizen

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The Argentine government released photos of the pope's new passport and national identification document

Argentina's Interior Ministry

Let’s add another item to the Pope Francis: He’s Just Like Us (Except he’s Pontiff) files. On Monday, the Argentine government celebrated that the leader of the Catholic Church wants to continue traveling the world like a regular Argentine citizen rather than as a Vatican City citizen. And for that, he needed a new passport. So Pope Francis called Argentina’s ambassador to the Vatican, expressed his wishes and last Friday headed over to the country’s offices in Rome and got finger-printed and photographed.

“Francis specifically asked not to be given any privileges so his new (national identification card) and passport have been processed through the usual administrative channels,” Argentina’s Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo said. “The pope carried out the process like all other Argentines.” The pontiff should be getting his new ID cards “in the next few days” at the Vatican. But not before the government took several pictures and filmed a video of the process to draw up and print the pope’s new ID documents to hand out to international media. Now the question is, if he decides to travel to the United States, will he seek a visa like a regular Argentine too?

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Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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