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article imagePope Francis receives humble car: Papa's got a Renault 4

By Eileen Kersey     Sep 13, 2013 in Technology
Rome - In March the Vatican elected a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI who had unusually and unexpectedly resigned. A Jesuit, Pope Francis I, replaced Benedict and insisted from day one that he would maintain a relatively simple life. His new car fits the bill.
The Pope is in receipt of a new car but how come that makes media headlines?
It could be due to the fact that Francis has stayed true to his humble beliefs. The car is not big, glamorous nor flashy. Neither is it a brand-new, shiny, bullet-proof nor expensive vehicle but instead is a much simpler, cheaper and classy one.
This vehicle will never be dubbed the "Pope-mobile" unless in a tongue-in-cheek way as fun.
So what car has Pope Francis I decided is fit for the head of the Holy Roman Catholic Church? Why a 1984 Renault 4, which is a perfect representative of his humility and thrift.
The 1984 car is classed as "vintage" but other than that it is a simple model. The Pope has urged other high-ranking officials in the Vatican to steer well clear of expensive, large cars and instead drive a more humble vehicle and this Pope works by setting the example.
The car did not even cost the Pope as it was a gift from Fr. Renzo Zocca, who put some 305,000 kms (190,000 miles) on the odometer tending his urban flock, reports Autoblog.
Built and sold from the early 1960s thru the 1990s, the 4 may not be very well known in North America, but Europeans in general (and the French in particular) are likely to understand just how humble a vehicle this is. More than eight million Renault 4s were built, sold in markets from Australia to South America, all utilizing engines that hovered around the 1.0-litre mark in terms of displacement.
Fr. Zocca offered the gift to the Pope but was shocked when it was accepted.
Previous Popes opted for more glamorous vehicles from the Mercedes Benz range and BMW. However as the Huffington Post reports, Pope Francis said:
It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car," Francis said at the time. "You can’t do this. 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.
More about pope francis, renault 4, humility, holy roman catholic church, vintge car
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