(Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/AP)
Pope Francis has a new car. Or, rather, a new-to-him car. Renzo Zocca, an Italian parish priest, offered his 1984 Renault with 186,000 miles, to the Pope:
In response, the priest received a papal call on his cell phone at the beginning of August and they spent a half hour talking about the priest's work. Zocca said the pope had initially been unsure about the gift suggesting that it would be best if he gave it to the poor, but the priest had insisted that his much-loved car had already given much to the poor over the years and he wanted it to go to the pope as a "testimony" of the work he had done in it.
Once Francis had been reassured the priest had another car, the pope flicked through his diary for the perfect day for the car hand-over. [...]
Pope Francis has impressed many since his election earlier this year with his humble and direct style. On election he quickly stressed his desire for "a poor church for the poor" and refused many of the trappings that went with being pope, preferring a simpler, less-ostentatious style. He continues to live in the Vatican Santa Marta guest house rather than in the papal apartments and has abandoned the use of limos and motorcades to be closer to the people.
Pope Francis plans to drive the car himself.