Of all the adjectives used to describe a pope, down-to-earth is not usually the first to come to mind. But the new, Argentinean Pope Francis has shown himself to be a man of the people, departing from the traditions of his predecessors by donning black shoes (instead of ruby slippers), slumming it–by papal standards–at an apartment for cardinals rather than the normal Apostolic Palace, and sitting on a wooden chair rather than a golden throne. But it turns out that his throne is not the only humble place he places his papal rear: when being chauffeured around the Vatican, he kicks back in the comfort of a Ford Focus.
Now the pope is urging other clergy to behave in a similarly modest manor. Reuters reported on Saturday:
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.
Perhaps he’ll urge them to adopt a more fuel-efficient vehicle next.