Tags: pope | francis | fiat | popemobile
Image: Francis Shuns Popemobile in Favor of 20-Year-Old Fiat
(Getty Images)

Francis Shuns Popemobile in Favor of 20-Year-Old Fiat

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 01:49 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Pope Francis toured the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa in a borrowed 20-year-old Fiat Campagnola instead of his new "Popemobile" given to him last week by Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche.

Four days after the Pope received the new vehicle he told a group of priests and nuns that cars "are necessary. But take a more humble one," The Los Angeles Times reports.

He said that it "hurts" him when he sees a priest or nun driving around in the "latest model car; you can't do this."

Urgent: Should the Pope change the Catholic Church?

They should opt for less expensive cars and pass the savings on to feed starving children, Pope Francis added.

Pope Francis has a history of turning down the luxuries that normally accompany the papal office such as choosing to stay in a Vatican guest house as opposed to the papal palace.

Mercedes-Benz has provided several Popemobiles to the Vatican since 1930.

The Popemobile the German carmaker gave him is the same model given to Pope Benedict in 2011 that came with bullet-proof plexiglas, a built-in oxygen supply, and reportedly cost $450,000.

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