Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Truely Humble Pope! Pope Francis Acquires a second hand 1984 Renault vehicle

New Popemobile Is a 1984 Renault With 186,000 Miles on It (ABC News)

Setting aside the tradition of luxury cars, Pope Francis has opted to cruise around the Vatican in a vintage Renault 4.
The vehicle, still in working condition despite clocking 190,000 miles, was given to the new leader of 

the Catholic Church by Fr. Renzo Zocca, an elderly priest from the northern Italian city of Verona.
The battered car, which reportedly rolled off the assembly line in 1984, was used by Zocca to minister to

 a hardscrabble, working-class community, according to Vatican Insider. Indeed, it was the car's legacy 
of working with the poor that inspired Zocca to hand the keys over to Pope Francis.

Earlier in August, Zocca wrote to Pope Francis, asking if he could give him a gift, according to Vatican Insider. Zocca was shocked when Francis called him up. At first reluctant, Francis eventually agreed to 

take the car, which was delivered on Saturday.

Before driving off, Francis told Zocca that he had once owned a similar car, according to the Agence France-Presse.

"The security guard standing next to me was really worried because he knew that from now on he'll be

 going around the Vatican in my car," Zocca said, according to the AFP.

While stylish in its own way, the Renault's recycled status fits with the pope's earlier statements regardinghumility and frugality.

Although Francis' predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, was often transported in luxury cars

 including a BMW X5 and a Mercedes, Francis chose a modest Ford Focus to travel to the Holy See
summer home in July.

“It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car," Francis said at the time. "You can’t do this. A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but, please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy 

one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world."

Pope Francis Renault

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