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Hounded out of their homes by Islamist violence, Iraqi Christians face what many fear may be their final festive season in the land of their fathers as many prepare for exile
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Pope Francis is to move into a yurt in the Vatican Gardens, the Holy See announced this morning.
He is due to make the move from his home in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse, where he has been living since his election last year, after Holy Week.
The move follows his repeated calls for a poorer Church that serves the poor. Speaking in Assisi last October he urged the Church to divest itself of “worldliness”.
"Worldliness is a murderer because it kills souls, kills people, kills the Church. Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry-shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians," he said.
The yurt, which was crafted by Consolata missionary nuns in Mongolia, is made out of cattail and bulrush reeds, Indian hemp and wormseed plant inner fibres, and is 20 feet wide and 11 foot long. Sources said it would have electricity, but internet access was more difficult to guarantee.
A spokesman for the Holy See said that the large, pyramid-shaped tent was completely weather-proof and “the same size the Mongolians generally use for their families”, but added that the Pope would continue to use the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace to receive visiting diplomats and other guests.
Above: a Mongolian yurt.