Pope invites friend to hop into Popemobile
by FFE EU News Staff
Pope Francis once again broke Vatican protocol — this time, to give a friend a hitch inside the impregnable popemobile.
The Rev Fabian Baez, a parish priest from Buenos Aires, got the surprise of his life when the pope invited him to hop in his white panoramic car during his first general audience of the year in St Peter’s Square.
As soon as the pope saw Baez, a friend since 1990, in the crowd, he signalled for gendarmes to help the priest jump the barricade. Baez recalled thinking ‘What am I doing here? Mamma mia!’ and added ‘The pope laughed and said “Come, sit down, sit down!” And he continued to greet the people and kiss babies. I was very moved.’
The free spin around the Square is another item in a long list of things Pope Francis has done that breaks the Vatican’s severe protocols. Others include posing for a selfie, donning a red nose for newlyweds, shunning the lavish Apostolic Palace and dumping the popemobile for a simple Fiat during his trip to Brazil.
Pope Francis was in a jovial mood during yesterday’s audience. He was entertained by a performer from the Golden Circus and was visited and given a jersey by the Italian soccer team Sampdoria.