Pope Francis was in Ireland this weekend, and apparently nobody in Ireland thought they should pick him up at the airport in something nice. Instead, and in keeping with his famed everyman ethos, here he is rolling around in a plain old Skoda Rapid wagon. I don’t even think it had leather seats.
The Pope’s ride in Dublin made something of a stir on social media and in the Irish press, as while the various Popemobiles are quite famous (and indeed the Holy Father used a more traditional one later) seeing him in an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, basic as you get Skoda hatch was quite a sight. He rode through the Dublin neighborhoods of Ballymun and Glasnevin, windows down, greeting onlookers.
It’s as if, as a few Twitter users noted, he’s out rolling around with his chav friends, shouting at the other teens on the block, trying to pick up girls.
He seemed to be enjoying himself too.
A spokesman for Skoda Ireland told the Ocean FM radio station that, thanks to a member of the local organizing committee for the Pope’s visit, the Volkswagen Group subsidiary was directly involved with arranging the ride.
“We were speaking to the Vatican to assess our cars,” he said, “and to make a long story short we chose the Skoda Rapid.” Four Rapid models were provided with mild modifications, he said. Two will be donated to charity after the visit and the other two will be sold.
The visit cost Ireland some €32 million, so many have speculated the humble Skoda was chosen to project an image of austerity as the Catholic Church deals with continual sex abuse scandals, which Pope Francis addressed during his Ireland trip.
But this current Pope isn’t known to be too fancy. When he visited the U.S. in 2015 his popemobile was a modified Jeep Wrangler, and he recently sold a Lamborghini that was gifted to him by that company, because what the hell was he going to do with it?
Anyway, here’s the Pope rolling around in a Skoda. That’s a thing that happened.