Pope Francis has reportedly decided to auction the Harley Davidson motorcycle given to him from the company last June.
The Harley, given to the pontiff after he blessed 35,000 Harley Davidson riders in St. Peter’s Square in honor of the company’s 110th anniversary, will be used to raise money for a home and soup kitchen near Rome’s Termini Station, the Telegraph reports.
“It’s a precious gift which has made us happy once again, made us feel the closeness of our Bishop to the poor of the Church of Rome. We are extremely grateful to Pope Francis for this,” Msgr. Enrico Feroci, the director of the Caritas of Rome Diocese, said about the donation.
Pope Francis’ decision to part with his Harley may stem from his public decision to be driven in Ford Focus, Fiat and Volkswagen sedans rather than the flashier cars like a black Mercedes, according to Rome Reports. He has encouraged trainee priests to follow in his footsteps, saying, “It hurts my heart when I see a priest with the latest-model car.”
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During a recent trip to the Italian town of Assisi, the home of his namesake who lived in the 12th century, Pope Francis urged Catholics to shun worldliness, The Guardian reports. "There is a danger that threatens everyone in the church, all of us. The danger of worldliness. It leads us to vanity, arrogance and pride," he said at the time.
Besides his modest fleet of cars, Pope Francis decided early on to renounce the use of the luxurious papal apartments in Vatican City. When asked why by a group of Jesuit students, the pontiff replied, “I have a need to live among people,” he said. “If I were to live alone, perhaps a little isolated, it would not be good for me. … It is my personality. … It is not an issue of personal virtue, it is only that I cannot live alone.”
Pope Francis has also made statements urging empty Catholic convents and monasteries to be opened and used to shelter migrants and refugees, and encouraging nuns to stop acting like “old maids” and instead resemble mothers to the church. "It makes me sad when I find sisters who aren't joyful," he said during a visit to a convent in Assisi. "They might smile, but with just a smile they could be flight attendants!"
Describing Pope Francis’ humble approach, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, told the Associated Press, "There are different genres of expression: Some are magisterial and official, others are more pastoral," he said. "They have a different doctrinal value."