Pope Francis with his new wheels -- a 1984 Renault 4L -- at the Vatican. (L'Osservatore Romano/Associated Press)
Maybe it should come as no surprise that Pope Francis is now driving a used 1984 Renault around the Vatican.
An Italian priest donated the small white sedan to the pope, who wanted to get around town by himself. The car has a new engine but 186,000 miles on it.
Born Jorge Bergoglio, the Argentine pope has eschewed so many of the trappings of being pope, a job with velvety, jeweled slippers, fancy hats and folks to kiss your hand. Francis has forgone bling in favor of simple white robes.
He's also rejected living in the papal apartment inside the Apostolic Palace, instead taking up residence in the humble quarters of the Vatican's "hotel." And he's made serving those in poverty his mission, speaking of a "poor church, and for the poor."
When traveling, he has preferred an open-top vehicle that allows him to greet crowds, rather than ride in the bulletproof Popemobile.
And he's stunned the world by asking, "Who am I to judge" if someone is gay? Earlier this week, he wrote that atheists and agnostics who follow their conscience are also eligible for God's mercy.
Francis may be driving his little Renault straight into history.
—The Denver Post, Sept. 12