Sandro Magister, The Council in the Intimate Thoughts of Pope John XXIII.
He then referred to his condition as "prisoner of opulence" in the Vatican and to the excessive pomp and ceremony that surrounded his person. "I have nothing against these good noble guards," the pope confided, "but so much bowing, such formality, so much pomp, so much parading make me suffer, believe me. When I go down [to the basilica] and see myself preceded by so many guards, I feel like a prisoner, a criminal; and instead I would like to be the 'bonus pastor' for all, close to the people…The pope is not a sovereign of this world. He recounts how much he disliked at the beginning being carried on the sede gestatoria through the rooms, preceded by cardinals often more elderly and decrepit than himself (adding that this was moreover not very reassuring for him, because ultimately one is always teetering a bit)."