Pope my ride! Pontiff heads off on day trip in Ford Focus
Pope Francis has refused many luxuries, such as the papal palace, the use of a gold chair, and red Prada shoes
Famed for attending public engagements in a bullet-proof Popemobile, the leader of the Catholic Church has a new ride: the humble Ford Focus.
Pope Francis was driven to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer house, in the compact car, which retails from £13,995 in the UK.
Commentators have congratulated the Pope for practising what he preaches, after he called on church leaders not to drive "fancy" cars in his ongoing campaign for greater austerity.
Speaking last week, he said “It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car. 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."
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had a fleet of luxury cars at his disposal, including a custom-made Renault, a BMW X5, and a Mercedes.
Pope Francis also forewent a full holiday in Castel Gandolfo, opting for a day-visit before returning to Rome where he will spend summer in more humble accommodation.
His words have already been heeded, with a priest in Columbia saying he planned to sell his white Mercedes-Benz E200 convertible, which was a gift from his four brothers.
The Pope has eschewed many other luxuries, refusing to living in a palace, use a gold chair, or wear red Prada shoes. He was a regular user of public transport through the papal elections.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'