Vatican Pope New Car
  • Vatican Pope New Car
  • In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture made available by the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, right, speaks with Rev. Renzo Zocca, second from right, and owner of the Renault 4L seen at left, his assistant Luigi Macchioni, and car-body repairer Stefano Veronesi, fourth from right, after he was donated the car by Zocca, at the Vatican. Rev. Zocca, 70, told the Associated Press Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, that he has dedicated his life to helping the needy in the peripheries of Verona, so when he saw that Pope Francis' priority was to reach out to the world's poor and inspire the Catholic leaders to go to slums and peripheries to preach, he decided to donate what he calls his 25-year-old "car of the French farmers" as a symbol of this approach. The pontiff invited Rev. Zocca for a private audience and on that occasion the priest had the car brought to the Vatican. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Vatican Pope New Car
  • In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture made available by the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis looks at a Renault 4L donated to him by Rev. Renzo Zocca, not pictured, as he speaks with Zocca's assistant Luigi Macchioni, left, at the Vatican. Rev. Zocca, 70, told the Associated Press on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 that he has dedicated his life to helping the needy on the outskirts of Verona, so when he saw that Pope Francis' priority was to reach out to the world's poor and inspire the Catholic leaders to go to slums and peripheries to preach, he decided to donate what he calls his 25-year-old "car of the French farmers" as a symbol of this approach. The pontiff invited Rev. Zocca for a private audience and on that occasion the priest had the car brought to the Vatican. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Vatican Pope New Car
  • In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture made available by the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis walks out to look at a Renault 4L donated to him by Rev. Renzo Zocca, parish priest of Santa Lucia di Pescantina, in Verona, northern Italy, at the Vatican. Rev. Zocca, 70, said to the Associated Press Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, that he has dedicated his life to helping the needy in the peripheries of Verona, so when he saw that Pope Francis' priority was to reach out to the world's poor and inspire the Catholic leaders to go to slums and peripheries to preach, he decided to donate what he calls his 25-year-old "car of the French farmers" as a symbol of this approach. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Vatican Pope New Car
  • In this picture taken with a smartphone on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 and provided by NGO Fondazione L'Ancora ONLUS, Rev. Renzo Zocca, parish priest of Santa Lucia di Pescantina, in Verona, northern Italy, pats his Renault 4L as it is brought inside the Vatican to be donated to Pope Francis. Rev. Zocca, 70, told the Associated Press on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, that he has dedicated his life to helping the needy on the outskirts of Verona, so when he saw that Pope Francis' priority was to reach out to the world's poor and inspire the Catholic leaders to go to slums and peripheries to preach, he decided to donate what he calls his 25-year-old "car of the French farmers" as a symbol of this approach. The pontiff invited Rev. Zocca for a private audience and on that occasion the priest had the car brought to the Vatican. (AP Photo/Fondazione L'Ancora ONLUS, ho)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press

While it's not a Popemobile in the traditional, bubble-shaped sense, Pope Francis now has a car that is not only humble and non-ostentatious but also might go over well with an environmental activist. The pope was given a 1984 Renault 4 that can run on biofuel.

Fr. Renzo Zocca gave the pope his old Renault 4 that had about 190,000 miles on the odometer. Zocca thought Pope Francis would appreciate the car's role in serving poor Italian Catholics for several years. He also knew about Francis' environmental activism, and was proud to tell the pope that it can run on biofuel. This – like so much else the new Pope has done – is different from the style of other recent Popes, who have been known to get lavish Popemobiles from automotive executives. Last year, Daimler head Dieter Zetsche delivered a Mercedes-Benz Popemobile to Pope Benedict XVI and Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn gave him an all-electric Renault.

To emphasize the difference, the 20-year-old Renault 4 isn't bulletproof and complies more with Francis' philosophy of church leaders driving "humble" vehicles. It's also a personally appropriate car, since Pope Francis apparently drove a Renault 4 in his native Argentina. The model was built from the early 1960s through the 1990s, and was sold in markets from Australia to South America. It's not a fancy ride, but it is a better fit with Francis' image as the people's pope.


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
  • 12 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      "[...] the 20-year-old Renault 4...[...]" - If this is in fact a 1984 model, it's actually 30 years old.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems to be a cool enough pope - now he is considering marriage for priests - which, for obvious and disturbing reasons, may NOT be a bad idea. Also - fun that he will go into any church and hang. Hopefully nothing happens doing that, or else they will never let another pope out again.
        omni007
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Interestingly, according to First Corinthians 9, verses 3 through 5, celibacy was not mandatory among the original Christian congregation, and First Timothy chapter 4 indicates that such mandatory celibacy would come from false teachers.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @omni007
          Marco, you are like Cliff Claven at the bar on cheers.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @omni007
          @ omni007 Celibacy among the Roman priesthood was initiated for more practical reasons than theological, during the dark ages. In an agrarian society, it was important that the Roman Church clergy could function without the liability of family dependents The clergy could be transfered easily from location to location, often involving great danger and difficulty. Priests were often missionaries, or tends the victims of plague etc. The clergy were free of involvement in local disputes, or inheritance concerns. having no family meant that your relatives could embroil the priest in secular affairs. Economically, it meant that the Roman clergy was relatively a low cost employee, and owed allegiance to Rome, not the local ruler. Priests were expected to be fully prepared to become martyrs if necessary. This is very difficult if your family is threatened. Priests w ere also expected to keep the secret of the Confessional, even at the cost of their lives. The chaos of Europe after collapse of the Western Roman Empire, is more responsible for the doctrine of celibate priests, than any deep theological rational.
          omni007
          • 1 Year Ago
          @omni007
          @Marco I don't think anyone would object to practical considerations, but I find it odd that the Church would make it mandatory among the priesthood, when no such teaching exists in the Bible. Indeed, St. Peter himself was married, and apparently most of the apostles were as well. Interestingly, that same chapter in First Timothy says that false teachers would also command followers not to eat certain foods. Just my observation.
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      Im not religious but this pope is making very positive changes to the christian church. I look forward seeing what he will do next.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please do some more research on this. As I posted on Gas2, there is no indication that the vehicle is "biofuel ready" or "runs on biofuel". First off, "biofuel" is a generic and vague word used to describe an entire category of fuel types. Saying that a car is "biofuel ready" is not even as useful as saying it's FlexFuel. There are millions of such vehicles, and it's certainly not worthy of a news article. Much more important is that the original article in Italian says it can run on "metano" which is natural gas. Probably CNG, which is a petroleum product, not a biofuel. While it is possible to make methane from digesters and occasionally some is fed into the pipeline, it's certainly greenwashing to call a CNG vehicle "biofuel ready". Please look into this and delete or completely revise the article - don't just put a footnote. You are now perpetuating the untruth that is out there. Don't let it get to Treehugger or more sites that don't read the details. Jason Burroughs, DieselGreen Fuels
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's not really a green vehicle, because the trace emissions on an old vehicle like that are awful. Obviously if he doesn't drive it a lot it doesn't really matter much. But using biofuel would just be a greenwash.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        It's not about the fuel it uses. It's about the Pope using such a humble auto.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 1 Year Ago
      This Pope is the first in a long line who has less reason to fear for his safety. He's like the anti-pope. I'm waiting for him to come out pro marijuana and free love, not that I partake in either. While I don't usually let Pope news go too far in my congitive processing, it was refreshing to see this story go mainstream.
      Edge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wish he would drive electric. Oh well, I will pray for him. ;)