It is natural to judge a man by the car he drives, or is driven in, especially when the man happens to be the Pope. On the evening of March 13, 2013, a short time after the College of Cardinals elected him the two hundred sixty-fifth successor to St. Peter and leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Jorge Mario Bergoglio surprised Church authorities and the international press corps by eschewing the papal limousine provided for his use and instead riding back to his hotel by bus. Since then, he has swapped out the armored Mercedes SUV that ferried his predecessor to events in favor of a far less fancy make and model. Pope Francis’s Pope-mobile is sometimes a Ford Focus.

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