What would Jesus drive? Pope tells priests to buy "humble" cars

VATICAN CITY Sat Jul 6, 2013 2:39pm EDT

Pope Francis speaks as he leads a meeting celebrating the ''Year of the faith'' in Paul VI's hall at the Vatican July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION) - RTX11EQ2

Pope Francis speaks as he leads a meeting celebrating the ''Year of the faith'' in Paul VI's hall at the Vatican July 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION) - RTX11EQ2

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more "humble".

As part of his drive to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor, Francis told young and trainee priests and nuns from around the world that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the route to happiness.

"It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can't do this," he said.

"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," he said.

Since succeeding Pope Benedict in March, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has eschewed some of the more ostentatious trappings of his office and has chosen to live in a Vatican guest house rather than the opulent papal apartments.

The ANSA news agency said the pope's car of choice for moving around the walled Vatican City was a compact Ford Focus.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (13)
shadyj911 wrote:
Hopefully he will continue this trend and spread practicality and common sense into all aspects of the church. I for one have never understood the pompousness of the Catholic church, as demonstrated by the “court jester” in the photo of this article.

Jul 07, 2013 2:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mgear2 wrote:
When I was a youngster, all of the luxury cars in the parking lot at church on Sundays and all the people dressed up in their “Sunday best” always struck me as rather disturbing given the content of the readings from the bible. The fact that one can feel that way as a ten-year-old says something very sad about the church. I’m not religious these days, but I’m still glad that the pope is making at least small strides in this direction. I hope the church starts stressing similar things among the laity. Either (A) start walking the walk if you talk the talk, or (B) stop talking the talk. Either option is better than gross hypocrisy.

Jul 07, 2013 2:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Believe123 wrote:
Jesus would take public transportation and be among the people. He would not drive anything. Nor would he wear the fancy expensive clothes that the pope wears. How hypocritical of the pope.

Jul 08, 2013 8:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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