He’s So Awesome Because He’s Just Like MEEEEE …

… When a five year old Ford Focus becomes too extravagant, it’s time to up the ante with a 29-year-old Renault4 that has 186,000 miles on it. Neat. Now I only have 82,000 more miles left on my own vehicle till I’m as humble as a pope.

Wait, what? That’s not how humility works?

Pope Francis has already made headlines for choosing a five-year-old Ford Focus as his preferred papal transportation, part of a public emphasis on thrift and poverty. But last weekend, the pontiff expanded his garage with the addition of a 29-year-old sedan with 186,000 miles as his personal car.

According to the Catholic News Agency and others, the car above, a 1984 Renault4, was donated to the pope by Italian pastor Renzo Zocca. Zocca had written Pope Francis earlier this year, offering to donate the car which Zocca had used for decades while working in impoverished neighborhoods of Verona, as a symbol of their shared concern for fighting poverty. [Source]

Oh goody. Maybe when this newest public symbol of awesome humility breaks down we’ll all be treated to images of our humble pope rolling up his robes to check the engine and change the tires.

I’m starting to understand this fascination with his public “humility”. Pope Francis is really just reflecting back to people what they think they see in themselves. He drives a crap car, well so do I. Francis, like, totally gets me. He’s so one of us, therefore awesome and worthy of my admiration. Everything else he does is just too Catholic-y so let’s focus on the car please. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am waiting on an important call.

I know. I know. It’s not Pope Frank. It’s all media spin. Personally I miss the good ole days when the media either hated or ignored the pope. You know, January.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Rhetor

    I’m trying to hang in there with Francis, but he’s starting to seem like the Rorschach-blot pope: he means whatever people want him to mean, and the responses to him tell us a lot about the person responding and nothing about the pope or the Church. What, for instance, does he mean by “triumphalism”?

    • Jordan

      I think all popes end up as Rorschach-blot popes.

    • http://eacafe.blogspot.com/ Oo_oc_oO

      Probably something like “excessive celebration of the defeat of one’s enemies or opponents” which is how it is defined in the dictionary. Use your common sense?

    • Quittin’ time at Tara!

      He means traditionalism. He hates it like a hangover.

  • OldWorldSwine

    I loved the previous two popes. And I love this one, too.

    • Hilary Jane Margaret White

      Why?

      • OldWorldSwine

        Because they each reflect Christ in different ways. And the world needs that.

        Also, as far as possible, I try to interpret everyone’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way, as the catechism instructs.

  • Brian Sullivan

    I like Pope Francis because he is so *unlike* me.

  • Illinidiva

    I don’t see any humbleness here. It is a funny human interest story. How cute is it to think about Pope Francis driving around the Vatican in his new vintage car and making his security a bit batty? Or a shocked Vatican employee realize who he parked next to? Or Francis trying to drive to appointments in Rome in his Renault?

    • Gordis85

      I think it is just spin and not on his part…anyway, leave the driving to the experts and let him enjoy the old batter of a car but at a distance…he can look but not drive. ^^

      • Illinidiva

        Hee… He has already driven the car. The news story mentioned that he hopped in the driver’s seat and drove it back into the Vatican. Most of the Vatican is a walled enclave and is restricted to tourists, etc., so there is little security risk with him driving his old car around the Vatican.

  • AMoniqueOcampo

    To be fair, there are signs that the media honeymoon will be over soon. He is against military action in Syria and his “Day of peace” has been called a “religious street protest” by MSM.

    • Gordis85

      Let it be over. In the eyes of God, Papa Francis will still be found working in the vineyard of the Lord. The day of prayer was beautiful. Many were there praying for our brothers and sisters, who are dying for the faith, while many elsewhere quibble and whine about how “they can’t take it anymore.”

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Except that an R4 spews more pollution than 20 or 30 Focus together.

    • Quittin’ time at Tara!

      A Focus would defeat the object of looking vintage cool while you display your humility to the masses.

  • Dcn Chris

    Self-consciously conspicuous virtue can be as off-putting as conspicuous consumption. My bishop or pastor shouldn’t have a Rolls, but a ’77 AMC Pacer isn’t appropriate or prudent transportation or stewardship either.But, I’m just one of those triumphalist full size sedan bad Catholics. What do I know?

    • Illinidiva

      I think that the important part of the story is that a priest doing good work in Francis’ beloved peripheries got 15 minutes of fame and his car got a second life.

    • OldWorldSwine

      Self consciously conspicuous virtue? You mean like “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father”?

      • Dcn Chris

        No, I mean like ..”take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”

        • OldWorldSwine

          So, it comes down to what you think are the Holy Father’s motivations. Do you think he does these things out of self-righteousness, or so that everyone might give praise to God? On what basis do you make your judgment?

        • Kate Bluett

          Yeah, ‘cuz the Pope is totally not a public figure, and he can hide all his good deeds. That’s soooo within the scope of his state in life right now.

          • Dcn Chris

            I guess I don’t see who this helps… other then the guy who knows where to get parts for the Pope’s new beater. Look, if you find great inspiration and meaning in Pope Francis personal quirkiness, and it strengthens your faith, that’s a wonderful thing. I find it a bit over the top, and it can seem (intentionally or not) like grandstanding. It seems to me, that if everyone is talking about how humble you are, you’re doing it wrong. You want something inspiring about this pope? Personal phone calls to people who’ve written him. That’s real.

          • Kate Bluett

            And again I ask, how in the world is one of the world’s most public figures supposed to be humble without it being in public? It doesn’t matter what he’s doing, everyone will be talking about it. Maybe the problem isn’t what he’s doing, but people talking about it.

          • Kate Bluett

            “I guess I don’t see who this helps…”
            Many–possibly most–people fear holiness. It is alien and terrifying. Surrendering one’s will to God means losing oneself. It doesn’t matter that it also means finding oneself–that fear of self-loss is terrifying. They–I, too–look at Mother Teresa and shrink back, because she has supernatural help, either demonic of divine, because what she did isn’t in the scope of human powers. We fear becoming inhuman when approached by God; it’s a barrier to further conversion. Pope Francis’s crappy car–and Benedict’s cats, and St. Therese’s bratty childhood, and St. Peter’s inane question about building tents at the Transfiguration–help because they show us that holy people are still human, and that our fears are groundless. That we will not become aliens by becoming more Christian. These quirks demonstrate what the Epistles really mean when they says that Christ “was like us in all things but sin.” He really was human, and we will not lose our humanity by following him. We will still have an interest in cars, and in non-liturgical music, and in sports. We will still be allowed to prefer cats over dogs. We will still be ourselves.
            Maybe you don’t have these fears. Fine. But this helps, in way your sneering cannot.

          • Dcn Chris

            Thank you for reminding me of just how frustrating and pointless combox debates are. My comments were not meant as “sneering”, and if they could be interpreted that way, then I probably shouldn’t have made them- certainly not in a venue like this.

          • Kate Bluett

            I apologize for misinterpreting your words; it was not done wilfully.

  • JohnE_o

    Well, you say what you like about your New Pope, but this agnostic vintage car aficionado likes his style.

  • JohnE_o

    “Oh goody. Maybe when this newest public symbol of awesome
    humility breaks down we’ll all be treated to images of our humble pope
    rolling up his robes to check the engine and change the tires.”

    That would be awesome!

    • Hilary Jane Margaret White

      Again, Why?

      • JohnE_o

        Why, what? Why would it be awesome to see pics of Pope Francis checking his car’s engine and changing the tires?

        It’s a guy thing, so maybe you wouldn’t get it – but trust me – it would be seriously awesome.

        In fact, publishing pics of Pope Francis messing around with the engine of his thirty year old car would be a huge boost towards getting men into the pews.

        • Gordis85

          Too good to be true since the self-righteous outrage would rob anyone with a funny sense of humor, well, the funny sense of humor. Somethings are best left alone.

    • Illinidiva

      I’m just impressed that he can drive stick. ;)
      Why the sarcasm? It is a sweet human interest story. Geez.. I thought that the story about Benedict feeding all the stray kittens was cute as well.

      • JohnE_o

        I laughed at the stick comment, but went AWWWWW! about the kittens. Are there any pics of that, because that would be über-cute!

        UPDATE: Yes, there are pics and yes, they are über-cute!

        FURTHER UPDATE: Okay, my bad, not of feeding the stray cats, but of Benedict with cats. And it is indeed cute.

        • PeonyMoss

          Links, please, to Benedict feeding the kittens?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            I searched and didn’t find any,

    • Gordis85

      I so agree! Car mechanics who labor all day in the hot sun, for lack of shade, in many parts of the world, would be so happy! Makes me laugh to think our Holy Father would even consider tinkering with a car. That’s a bit too much but a sense of humor is a blessing when it comes to this story.

  • Stephen Lowe

    I am sure Jesus would drive a late model Renault, don’t you agree?

  • Stephen Lowe

    Now about those atheists…

  • Cliff Towle

    “pray for those insufferable judgmental snobs … focused on what everyone else is doing and wearing.” hmmm… sound familiar? :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I know right. I’m such a bitch.

  • Barbara Fryman

    I’m not sure who your mad at. Pope Francis? The media? People who are edified by this man’s public actions? I am very squeamish about the fan-boy/girl behavior over anyone, I don’t think it’s always the object of admiration’s fault.

    I get the impression of a girl who hates her stepfather when I read this from you. You seem like your grieving the loss of BXVI. The Holy Father isn’t asking for atta boys and the words that come from his mouth are in keeping with the Church. Who cares if he accepts a used car but not red shoes?

    Personally he makes me question my own life and all of our families “needs”. I don’t like it at all, but I suppose that’s my tough luck.


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