• Dec 2nd 2010 at 5:31PM
  • 45
Pope Benedict XVI is quickly becoming known as the "Green Pope." During his time at the top of the Catholic Church, His Holiness has made a point to preach sustainable energy, and he's backed up his words with actions. In 2008, photovoltaic cells were installed on the roof of a Vatican auditorium, and in 2009, a solar cooling unit was added to the Vatican cafeteria.

The Washington Post is now reporting that Pope Benedict wants to take another step towards a greener footprint with a solar-powered Popemobile. The Vatican says that a solar Pope transporter would be a rolling tribute to the Pontiff's message to promote sustainable energy. But while the Pope's idea is a good one, so far there apparently are no automakers willing to take on the task.

The German firm SolarWorld, which installed the cells atop the Vatican auditorium, says it can build the Pope an electric solar car, but marketing boss Milan Nitzschke claims that a major hurdle is getting the Vatican security to sign off on such an endeavor. There are apparently concerns about a solar Popemobile having enough speed to take off if there are any security incidents. Nitzschke says that power won't be an issue, but with a huge bulletproof dome atop a vehicle that's bound to weigh several thousand pounds, we're thinking range could be a problem as well.

Is a solar Popemobile possible? Of course, but it may not sport large areas of solar cells atop the Pope's bulbous sled. It may be more practical to have an electric Popemobile with large yet portable solar cell arrays that can plug in and charge the vehicle when it isn't on the Papal parade route.

[Source: The Washington Post | Image: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Environmentalism is a religion of worshiping the earth as a pseudo-diety, but human self-aggrandisement to think that people changing their lightbulbs, or transferring their energy use from on-board fuel burning, to off-site fuel burning... has an effect on the natural world.

      What does it cost in natural resources to create solar panels, and batteries? And more than likely, also a supplemental charging system to get power from the electric grid, which Rome does not have the world's best electric power utility network.

      But, on a more theological note,
      It seems to me that that flies right in the face of a perfect, omnipotent, creator God, who is in control, and created the natural universe to be self-sustaining, and self-repairing.

      Pick one religion or the other, Pope.

      And I suggest that maybe one might want to revisit the first Commandment.
      "Thou shalt have no other gods before ME."

      Promoting God's creation to equivalent status to God would seem like blasphemy to someone who believes in God's sovereignty over his own creation.

      And it would seem like an insult on top of that, to think that an almighty creator God would have created the natural world to be so vulnerable to such insignificant factors as light bulbs, or gas burning cars.

      Matthew 6:24
      "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

      And make absolutely no mistake... environmentalism as a humanistic social religion, is all about the money, and it's redistribution, and the power and influence it buys. That is why the focus on the general public's behavior with their lightbulbs and cars, and not much, much, much more significant issues like industrial waste by-products.

      It isn't about real effects... it is about real people being targeted by propaganda to be separated from their money, and made to feel guilty about their average lifestyle, and giving over that authority to environmental 'leaders', which naturally imposes taxes, fines, and built-in costs. Which makes CO2, a natural byproduct of animal life... and a necessity for plant life, into a registered pollutant, to be controlled by a bureaucracy.

      The Catholic leadership should be able to recognize that behavior and methodology in an instant... they've used it for more than a millennia themselves to wield authority and power, at cost to the people in the pews.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "God, who is in control, and created the natural universe to be self-sustaining, and self-repairing."

        Morbid curiosity, where does it say that? Cuz far as I know we're supposed to pretty much decimate this place till the rapture comes...but as ya know...some of us actually give a damn. Sorry but I don't see how he's 'worshiping' the Earth. I don't worship animals and I go out of my way to improve their lives and protect them as much as possible. On that note I am still a carnivore, I need meat, but I'm thankful for each life that ends to keep mine going. That's not Worship, that's just being grateful for what I have and acknowledging that my sustained life and health is because another had to give theirs up.

        Only difference is, I believe the cow doesn't really give a rat's butt that it's being slaughtered to feed me like any other meat eating animal. Can I make their lives better until the kill? I'm gonna try like hell yeah. Does that mean I worship them? No, I worship God, and have an obscene amount of compassion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Theology and good science are not mortal enemies to one another. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the green movement can be a whole 'nother religion, but that is absolutely NOT what is going on here.

        If you mean to be a good Christian, you still have to be a good steward of His creation. Believing that we can do absolutely no harm to the Earth is just as bad as believing that we are the cause of "global warming."

        If you really want to get into the theology of it, while God is perfect, creation is not, not since a little event called the FALL, courtesy of Adam and Eve. So, NO, the earth is not fully self-sustainable and our actions DO have a consequence. What is in question is the effect.

        Please do not let your anti-Pope feelings cloud your judgment and reason. Benedict XVI is not abandoning Catholic Christianity nor is he putting nature above God. He is merely exploring options that are more responsible towards creation as befits a good and faithful servant of God.

        So lay of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are a total idiot do us a favor and overdose!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Boxer Fanatic, what are you reading dude?

        on another note, i think they should drop the armor... if they want to go green, perhaps an EREV a la Voltec should be a good half way point...
        • 4 Years Ago

        With all due respect, sir, you clearly sound like you haven't actually read or listened to ANYTHING Pope Benedict has actually said himself, depending instead on the media who always twist his words to promote their own agendas.

        I have actually never heard of Pope Benedict being the "green pope" before, and the only thing I can imaging that he gets that reputation from is from journalists who misinterpret and confuse his words.

        In short, when he speaks of taking care of God's creation, it's ALWAYS with the underlying message of protecting life. Read the actual text of his addresses and such, and there's always a pro-life message--protecting the unborn, respecting the dignity of life from conception to natural death (and not under the disguise of "euthanasia"), and charity for all. But the media, whether by malicious intent or sheer ignorance, always interpret it as a message of advancing the "green movement."

        To believe that Pope Benedict places the "green movement" over God and the Catholic Church is to completely utterly misunderstand him. Everything he does is for God--this "eco-consciousness" is rightly ordered towards God, not replacing Him.

        As for the Muslims, that's also a gross misunderstanding. He completely understands the threat of the Islamic extremists, which explains how he has been reaching out and building bridges to the Eastern Christians and the Anglicans with the new Ordinate. He certainly has a gameplan, but just because a crusade hasn't happened, doesn't mean he's sitting idly by.

        So please, do us all a favor, before you berate and rant about the Pope, actually read his speeches and addresses and judge from there, not from misinformed sources.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lol I would think that this is a prime example where "hybrid" should be uttered before "solar"/"all-electric". Just sayin'
      • 4 Years Ago
      it should be move by the power of the holy spirit
      • 4 Years Ago
      Big deal - let him ride on a mule, just like his Boss did - and give away all his gold and silver to the poor. Haiti, Pakistan, & co. are waiting ....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Using solar for auxiliary purposes, sure, but this is not really going to be a "solar" car.

      It's an EV.

      An EV is doable, practical, and if it is an extended-range EV (like the Volt), it would have all the range of a regular ICE car.

      Calling it "solar-powered" does a disservice to everyone. It confuses those that don't know about the technology, and puts too-high limitations to the capabilities of the vehicle. An EV on the other can could be designed to do anything and everything required.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "It's always sunny in Rome"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Highclimber - you may be right, but answer me this, How many Jewish children died during the HOLOCAUST because the Catholic Church would not save them unless the converted to the Catholic faith!
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are showing the world your ignorance. Why don't you read what the Catholic Church did for the Jewish people, and how many of the Catholic Clergy went to their deaths, for helping the Jews. And, as for the Vatican, it had to be kept quiet, what Pope Pius was doing for the Jews, how many hundreds of thousands went through the Vatican in order to keep living. Not one of them, to my knowledge, converted to Catholism, unless that was THEIR wish. Do you know how many of the clergy lost their lives, or stepped up, in a Jews place, and was slaughtered by the Axis? Well you better start reading, before you let that hole in your face, start running, about something you obviously don't know a thing about. And as for the Catholic Church, remember, "Where sin abounds, their Grace abounds more." Can't say that about a lot of you so-called protestants.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your statements are totally false Kenn and you are making things up. The others here have already answered appropriately.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read up on your history, sir. The Catholic Church saved hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Holocausts, hiding them in monasteries and convents. In Rome alone, there were thousands of Jews that had safe refuge in those places, disguised as religious.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is the Pope so afraid of getting shot ? Doesn't he get to go to Heaven and "Meet the Boss"when he dies ?

      Get a Rickshaw Dude Let the Swiss Guard pull it
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hang on a second: "in 2009, a solar cooling unit was added to the Vatican cafeteria."

      So how was it cooled in the several hundred years before electricity? Installing equipment isn't "green", it's exactly the opposite.

      I expect they sleep on posh "green" matresses, rather than the hard boards their forebears tolerated.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The power of Christ propels you?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is a very good one. LOL.
      • 4 Years Ago

      • 4 Years Ago
      Child molestors OK.

      Gas powered cars Bad.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tributetodrive: Not nearly enough was done. Many priests were simply moved to other churches parishes. Typical religious hypocrisy at work.
        • 4 Years Ago
        To all the Catholic bashers:

        There are hundreds of thousands of faithful who preform their service all their lives. The church has done far more to the benefit mankind than the very small number of cases where children were harmed.

        If you doubt me ask yourself this..how many schools/hospitals have been built in the name of atheism?
        • 4 Years Ago
        GRUV you are so typical. You cherry pick some instances that do not represent the vast majority of the 2000 year history of the church.

        Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Kelvin, Planck were all Christian scientists and not "killed" for their faith.

        But don't let facts get in the way of your mindless hate.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Guys, guys... When considering the number of priests on this earth, there are far fewer (between three to ten times fewer) pedophiliac priests than pedophiles in the general population. Beforehand, the church thought that pedophilia could be cured, thus they tried to be forgiving of priests who committed acts of pedophilia. We now know that pedophilia is incurable, so these days priests who cross the line are dealt with harshly and taken off the ranks. Give the Pope a break. And heated seats.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The church has done far more to the benefit mankind than the very small number of cases where children were harmed."

        LOL!!! Yeah, like hold us back 1800 years. There's even a term for when the church was in control. They call it the "dark ages" because they harassed and murdered anybody who chose to think with logic and science.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Catholic church should be worried about taking pedophiles off the Church employee sheet and then start paying taxes for their open meddling in political issues like in DC where they tried to hold the District hostage for approving Gay marriage.

        Oh, yeah, this is supposed to be about cars. My bad, but, I can't stand what the church does to the poor and the insane amount of money they are hoarding while pleading poverty and not paying taxes.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X