Pope Francis dismissed Popemobile as a 'sardine can'
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis has announced that he is ditching the Popemobile, bullet-proof armored vehicles that have been in service to protect the popes since the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
Pope Francis has a reputation for giving his security detail a headache by refusing to use the Popemobile.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Francis made this announcement with a Spanish newspaper, Vatican Radio reported, and he described his decision because the "sardine can" kept him away from the people.
"It is true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," he said. "I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God."
Francis has told his security officials on numerous times that he wants to be able to interact with the crowds who flock to him when he is out in public. Sitting behind a screen of bullet-proof glass seriously hampers this, and he has rejected the vehicle several times in favor of ordinary cars.
During one visit to Brazil, the pope used a small Fiat to take him from the airport to the center of Rio de Janeiro, an act which caused headaches for security officials.
This is not the first time the Pope has caused invited criticisms about his safety. During his high profile trip to the Middle East, the Pope stopped to make an unscheduled prayer at a West Bank security wall in Israel, a highly symbolic and controversial gesture.
He was also asked about his legacy during the interview. "I have not thought about this. But I like it when you recall someone and say 'he was a good guy, he did what he could, and he was not that bad.' With that, I would be content."
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