The Pope’s New Renault

Over at Deacon Kandra’s place there is some funny stuff about the Pope’s new car, an old Renault.

Earlier this week, the pope got a new set of wheels.    And now CNS has collected some priceless reaction:

Leave it to the slapstick brothers, Tom and Ray, at Car Talk to have a field day with the news of Pope Francis’ recent present: a lovingly used 30 hp 1984 Renault 4.

As soon as the now-retired radio hosts heard the news, they went on Facebook and Twitter and let the witticisms and quips rip.

The Pope buys a 1984 Renault… Now there’s a man who believes in the power of prayer.

But the best part was they let their fans join the fun with #PopesRenault and #VaticanMechanic:

  • I always thought the Pope would drive a Christ-ler
  • “Tu illam inundarunt” (Latin for “You flooded it”). [Spot the mistake?]
  • The pope can easily handle a flooded engine. Even if it’s of Biblical proportions.
  • He needs one of two bumper stickers. #1, God is my co-pilot. OR #2, My other car is the Pope Mobile.
  • I haven’t seen car trouble like this since we tried to fit all the Apostles in one Accord.
  • It’s either burning oil, or you’ve just been replaced.
  • “A little black smoke is fine, just watch out for the white smoke”.
  • If you see a lot of white smoke, it might mean it’s time to elect a new car.
  • The black smoke means that a new car must still be chosen.
  • Ashes to Ashes
    Dust to Dust.
    If not for Renault
    Our tools would rust.
  • Look the Vatican acquired a new relic.
  • “The Spiritus Sancti made manifold…”
  • Last Rides, anyone? (Extreme disfUnction)
  • […]

Go see the rest there.

I have written about the Holy Father and cars HERE and HERE and HERE.

Remember my solution for the Pope’s intra Vatican conveyance?

Enough of this Renault stuff.  Enough with the half measures.

When Pope Francis really gets serious about this and decides to get around on the cheap, he could adopt what is also the greenest shuttle solution of them all!

I’d love to see one of my bumper stickers on the back of the Renault.  Heck.. on the back of the sedia. Which one would be best to send?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. AnnAsher says:

    Say the Black, Do the Red !

  2. dcs says:

    “Inundarunt” is plural.

  3. mamajen says:

    That photo of the “new” car is hilarious! I love the Twitter wit, too.

    I daresay I like the car. Well, the way it looks anyway. It’s cute. (This from the person who, despite everything she’s heard, still wants to own an MGB someday). I didn’t get the impression from the article that he’s actually going to use it much, thank goodness.

  4. CatholicMD says:

    These stories are becoming tiresome. How much do you think it will cost to maintain a 30 year old car? Somehow I don’t think this is how the “New Evangelization” was supposed to work.

  5. APX says:

    This doesn’t sound good for the environment. I don’t think that car would pass California’s emission laws.

  6. Priam1184 says:

    ‘Save the Liturgy Save the World’

  7. Andrew says:

    A bumper sticker on the back of the sedia: I gave my chauffeur a day off.

  8. The Masked Chicken says:

    Be glad he is not a Carmedolese. That would lead to the following tongue-twister:

    Francis Frankly Fawning and Fanning Romuald’s Renault.

    The Chicken

  9. RafqasRoad says:

    Sighs in tiresome weariness…

    Papa Frankie…Oh dear, dear, dear me…Renault?? RENAULT??????!!! what were you thinking, your Holiness????? You should have picked a Citroen!! :-)

    Enough with the gesting…I think Clarkson, Hammond and Maye (sp) should be given the august and sober task of choosing Papa Francesco’s Vatican vehicular conveyance. Wonder what they’d select.

    What about a ‘Triumph’???


    South Coast Catholic to be (Aussie Maronite).

  10. Robbie says:

    Some of those comments are quite funny, but I find the concept of a Pope, this Pope or any other Pope, riding around in what amounts to a clown car to be anything but amusing. It’s degrading.

  11. acardnal says:

    Just another ugly French car.

  12. SonofMonica says:

    Degrading? The founders of the church in Rome, Peter and Paul, were crucified upside down and imprisoned for the faith. I think we will survive this pope’s taste in free automobiles.

  13. MikeM says:

    I hope he didn’t pay for this car. I thought they were trying to CUT waste at the Vatican!

  14. TNCath says:

    Doesn’t the Holy Father have better things to do than play around with this silliness? If he were living in the Apostolic Palace, he wouldn’t need a ride to work everyday.

  15. disco says:

    “Re-Elect Ratzinger”

  16. Q: What do you call a Renault with a seat belt?
    A: A rucksack.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  17. tcreek says:

    Is it a sin to hope that Pope Benedict outlives Pope Francis?

  18. Johnno says:

    Wait until you see the museum piece Pope Francis will use to replace the Shepherd-1 Helicopter with.

  19. inundavit … and shouldn’t the plural be inundaverunt?

    A sedia is something we won’t see for decades.

  20. Caesar says:

    Is that Fredo Corleone with a moustache?

  21. Sedilia bumper sticker:

    “Parallel parking . . . no problem.”

  22. sedia bumper sticker:

    “Stop signs . . . don’t believe everything you read.”
    “It’s not a throttle, it’s a detonator.”
    “Poverty is owning a sedia.”
    “Sedia . . . because I want to see who my pallbearers might be.”
    “Francis 2016”
    “Built Vatican Tough”
    “So you’re a feminist. Isn’t that cute.”

  23. Andreas says:

    I find it curious that noone in the photo seems to be taking any notice of that UFO hovering above the car.

  24. Joseph-Mary says:

    My first car was an old Renault. It was a lemon! Not easy to keep that thing going as a college student but I did get creative with bobby pins. It always kept you guessing—if it got you somewhere, would it get you back?

    In order not to abandon the thing, we sold it for a dollar and let someone haul it off.

    Good luck to the Holy Father!

  25. Palladio says:

    It’s a contraction of the verb, but, yes, it does not agree with the subject.

  26. Supertradmum says:

    Of course, few notice the very young KGB officer in disguise holding up the right front of the sedia–and can you imagine, Fr. Z., driving a Renault in Minnesota in the winter? Good thing it only rains in Rome. Still, the Pope can drive up on the sidewalks and honk at pedestrians to get out of the way like those in the Fiats do….

  27. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I once helped carry the Duke around in a production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet: it got very interesting when he suddenly stood up to harangue (in mime, of course). Happily, we didn’t let him down!

    The Holy Father should be widely and continuously encouraged to have recourse to the sedia: it is so healthy for the bearers, great exercise, jobs for the poor, or meek, nigh cherubial (as it were), ‘green’ as can be (oops, wait a minute…)

    But what is the proper term for one of us/them? ‘Sediafer’?

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    At least an old Renault is better than a ‘Prius inter pares’…

  29. VexillaRegis says:

    The fun thing is that Renault means “well advised leader” – it’s the same name as Reynold, Reinhold, Ronald. Hmm.

  30. frjim4321 says:

    Next week’s bulletin letter just became an easy copy-and-paste!

  31. ridiculusmus says:

    tu illam inundavisti
    tu illam inundasti

  32. HyacinthClare says:

    Andreas, I hadn’t noticed! Now I can’t stop laughing… I’m having a wonderful day and this just fits right in!

  33. yatzer says:

    Our first car was a Renault. It mostly ran, most of the time. We were finally able to get rid of it.

  34. Stumbler but trying says:

    This piece I read in the CNS blogs and thought it quite amusing and fun. I am happy the Italian Priest and Papa Francis talked about their many pastoral travels among God’s people. The Holy Father did not buy the Renault…It was a gift to him from the Italian priest who had written him a letter prior to the gift of said car. I am glad some of us have a sense of humor and are not caught sipping on the vinegar.

    I look forward to more amusing tales of Papa Francis’s adventures…with all the pain and sorrow of this world, heaven sure knows we need it and thus the Lord, in his infinite mercy, has one wonderful sense of humor too! Viva il Papa!

  35. av8er says:

    If the Renault breaks down, with 2 sturdy 12ft poles it can convert into a sedia.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  36. Grabski says:

    As an aside, can a Catholic from a non-Latin rite (say, Greek Catholic) become a Jesuit?

  37. unavoceman says:

    Leave it to Putin. First he takes The One to school on foreign policy in the Middle East.

    Now he shows up the Pope’s runt of a Renault.

  38. rbbadger says:

    Also, the former Father General of the Society of Jesus, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, was ordained in the Armenian Rite. Father Kolvenbach is a linguist specialising in Armenian and other Middle Eastern languages.

  39. ChristianO says:

    I once worked at a small convent school in France and this was exactly same car the nuns had. The sisters would sometimes let me borrow it to run errands etc. The strangest thing I recall about that old 4L is that the gearshift was located in the dashboard.

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