Pope Francis rides in simple car, as Obama rolls in the Beast
Pope Francis on Tuesday evening visited the United States of America for the first time and amused many for choosing to ride in a simple Fiat 500L vehicle as President Barack Obama rode in the famous beast.
After arriving in a papal plane, the Pope was welcomed by President Obama and his family as well as Vice President Joe Biden along with catholic priests.
The humble Pope then went on to board his charcoal grey Fiat 500L and the car windows were rolled down allowing him to wave to cheering crowds.
Americans online termed the Pope’s choice of car as humbling contrasting it to their President’s armored beast whose windows are never rolled down.
The 78-year-old Roman Catholic leader is known for picking modest vehicles than his German predecessor Pope Benedict XVI who preferred luxurious Mercedes christened ‘popemobile’.
In 2008, Pope Benedict used the popemobile, the informal name for special vehicles with glass-enclosed viewing areas that let a pope ride through huge crowds without risking his security, while visiting Washington.
Pope Francis has made a point of using modest cars as part of his emphasis on simplicity as he uses a blue Ford Focus while in Vatican.
Since succeeding Pope Benedict in 2013, 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.
In 2013, he even called on priests to stop driving flashy cars and pick something more ‘humble’.
“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 during his 2013 speech.
The Pope is on a five day tour across Washington, New York and Philadelphia, coinciding with the United Nations summit which will see more than 100 world leaders arrive in New York.
During his trip, he will also be chauffeured in a Jeep Wrangler Popemobile, also manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Fiat USA tweeted, ‘#blessed’ after the pope’s vehicle departed for the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican’s mission in Washington.