WASHINGTON – Pope Francis electrified crowds in the nation’s capital during his September visit. And so did his cars – the antitheses of a limousine. One of the two gray Fiat 500Ls that he rode in made a repeat appearance Monday at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
The two Fiats were donated in January by Pope Francis and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to the Archdiocese of Washington and arrived earlier this month.
The compact car will be used for public service and community engagement provided by the archdiocese its Catholic Charities.
The car was parked outside of the downtown church, available for selfies with a cardboard cutout pope, but it attracted more publicists and reporters than the general public.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, said it’s a great idea to bring the vehicle to D.C., since it highlights the time Pope Francis spent in Washington.
The archdiocese is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools. People can ride along on the campaign for public service on social media through the hashtag #DriveWithFrancis.
Wuerl joked with reporters about riding in the Fiat with Pope Francis during his visit.
“Yeah I rode in it,” Wuerl said. “If you look at the pictures though, they airbrushed me out.”
Reach Erick Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-408-1489. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Download photos: pope-car.zip