January 8th, 2014
01:38 PM ET

Holy Hitchhiker: Pope gives pal a ride on the Popemobile

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - In yet another breach of normal papal protocol, Pope Francis on Wednesday gave a pal a lift on the world's most exclusive ride: the Popemobile.

According to Catholic News Service, the holy hitchhiker was the Rev. Fabian Baez, a priest from Francis' former Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, whom the pope spotted in the crowd at St. Peter's Square.

As he helped the priest onto the Popemobile, Francis told Baez, "The picture will go around the world,” CNS reports. The beaming priest rode around St. Peter's Square and was given a special seat at the Pope's speech to the crowd.

During the Pope's speech, he urged the crowd to remember their baptism.

"Many of us do not have the slightest memory of the celebration of this Sacrament, obviously, if we were baptized shortly after birth," Francis said. "It is important! It is important to know what day you were immersed in that current of salvation of Jesus!"

Baez later tweeted in Spanish, “I’m going to change my biography. The poor priest who got on the popemobile today with #PopeFrancis”.

Mark another point for the "Pope of the people."

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (585 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @igaftr : Not necessarily impossible. Stop thinking that time is linear...it is not.

    How does one provide experimental evidence for non-linear time when the experiment would necessarily be conducted in linear time?


    January 13, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • G to the T

      Most often times via mathematical theorums. Appart from that inductive evidence can be used but isn't as strong as deductive (via empirical).

      Eistein showed that "time" is only another dimension in "space/time". Indeed, math is what has shown us that there are many, many higher dimension than the standard 4. Who knows what "time" may "look" like from those perspectives?

      January 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
  2. Live4Him

    @DJ : You're saying that you have to accept up front that the god of the Bible is where the universe came from before you can investigate beyond that. That makes absolutely no sense.

    This follows the scientific method. When a scientific theory is postulated, then one begins with the premise that the theory is correct and then devises an experiment to test the validity of that assumption. If one begins with the premise that they theory is incorrect, then it negates the need for further testing. The critical part is ensuring an objective test, rather than a 'rubber-stamp' process.


    January 13, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • Eric G

      Almost correct. The hypothesis put forth needs to be based on verifiable evidence. If your hypothesis is not supported by verifiable evidence, your conclusions cannot be tested and you are back to square one.

      January 13, 2014 at 10:38 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Eric G : The hypothesis put forth needs to be based on verifiable evidence.

        A scientific experiment implictly assumes verifiable results.


        January 13, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Reality # 2

          We have reviewed some of the evidence and this is what we found:

          Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

          1. 300,000,000 approx.

          2. 200,000,000 ?

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • G to the T

          Perhaps, but it also needs to be falsifiable. How would you falsify a theory based on supernatural origins?

          But looking beyond that – what would the theory you want to test be? How would you propose an experiment to prove the existence of a creator? I"m geniuinly curious.

          January 13, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Science Works

    Or LoA you can park your/the talking donkey at the curb .

    January 13, 2014 at 7:32 am |
    • Science Works

      screwed up meant for LoA below.

      January 13, 2014 at 7:34 am |
  4. Bootyfunk

    i'm pretty sure it's a sin not to carpool in the popemobile.

    January 13, 2014 at 6:14 am |
  5. Bootyfunk

    christians cry that christianity is under attack, that all the CNN stories bash christianity...
    blah blah blah
    and yet here's another christian fluff piece.
    pope picks up a fellow priest in his pope mobile?
    that made the news? really?
    i picked up 2 hitchhikers the other day and no one wrote an article about me.
    this pope gets a lot of credit for doing nothing.

    what has the pope actually done to deserve time's man of the year?
    he didn't change church dogma or doctrine.
    just some nice, if ambiguous, words.
    but what has the pope actually accomplished?


    January 12, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Picking up hitchhikers is a bit of a risk. You need to take care – there are some loonies out there. I wouldn't pick up a priest.

      January 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Science Works

    A whale of a myth/story the RCC has but together over the years.

    The Jonah mentioned in II Kings 14:25 lived during the reign of Jeroboam II .... concerning Jonah, who is said to have been three days in a whale's belly?

    International science news !

    'Walking Whale' Fossil Discovered In Peru: 40-Million-Year-Old Specimen May Be Link Between Aquatic and Land Mammals



    15-Million-Year-Old, 1000-Pound Baleen Whale Skull Unearthed Along The Potomac River In Virginia [VIDEO]

    January 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      The "swallowed and spit out by a leviathan" was a common "meme" in the ancient Near East, (as many things in the Babble are .. just imported form the common culture). In fact common syncretic elements from Babylonian mythology are too numerous to count, in the Babble.

      January 12, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
      • Science Works

        Plus the sun is what helps produce the food to feeds us – no gods required !

        Quantum Mechanics Explains Efficiency of Photosynthesis

        Jan. 9, 2014 —


        January 13, 2014 at 7:21 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        The worst myth of all: that nothing times nothing (or next to nothing) equals everything, and yet they can't explain where that "next to nothing" came from...

        Or that energy is eternal... How do they know since no one was in eternity past to observe that energy wasn't created...

        Or that Hydrogen can somehow be the source of everything... That's alchemy isn't it?

        January 13, 2014 at 7:27 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          * should have been "no one times nothing..."

          January 13, 2014 at 7:28 am |
        • truthprevails1

          "How do they know since no one was in eternity past to observe that energy wasn't created... "

          And yet you plug a god in to it...how convenient and dishonest!

          January 13, 2014 at 7:34 am |
        • Science Works

          So LoA – to you less than one millionth of a second is eternity ?

          That is about the time unaccounted for before the big bang ?

          January 13, 2014 at 7:43 am |
        • 00 00

          hey larry, how r u man? sup?

          y do u lov jesus?

          January 13, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • Reality # 2

          o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

          What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

          1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

          2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

          3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

          4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

          5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

          6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

          7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

          8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

          Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

           http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/



          Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

          Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton




          January 13, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • igaftr

          Hydrogen is the source of everything. Basic chemistry, but since chemistry had its roots in alchemy, sure why not say it is alchemy ( which is possible given the right amount of energy in the reaction. One CAN turn lead to gold...it has been done....the COST of doing it is not worth the effort, but yes, all elements were once hydrogen.)

          January 13, 2014 at 8:16 am |
        • Science Works

          By the way Larry we have confirmed the heavy elements of LIFE and where they came from !

          January 13, 2014 at 8:21 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So by stating that the universe "is" without the need of an outside agent, then you are ascribing agency to the physical universe. The problem with that is that there is not one example of a physical ent.tiy that is an agent unto itself.

          How is that considered rational thinking and the quote "God hypothesis" considered the thinking of the "dims?"

          January 13, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • Science Works

          Come on L o A

          Life Scientists, Colleagues Differentiate Microbial Good and Evil


          January 13, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • igaftr


          You are falsely declaring that there has to be an "agent" ...same lame argument as first cause and prime mover.
          All assume that something had to cause the universe to exist....unfounded in their entirety.

          You have no way of knowing if there was a first cause or a prime mover....physicists have determine a few different ways that the universe could actually have caused itself...you see you think there was a begining...there may not have been a beginning...not as you see it, so your argument is moot, since there are more possibilities thqan you acknowledge.
          Stop trying to use lame arguments from people from long, long ago, such as aristotle...we are WAY past what aristotle comprehended.

          That prime mover/first cause crap is just what they teach apologists, and has no merit at all.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "the universe could actually have caused itself..."
          This is very lazy thinking at best. In order for something to cause itself, it would have to "be" before it "was." This is impossible.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          And the arguments for a first cause go back to Paul in Romans 1, not Aristotle. But if you do wish to attribute it to a non-Biblical author, then it goes to Aquinas, not Aristotle.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Science Works

          And the circle JERK continues

          Why Is Pope Francis Promoting Sin?


          January 13, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Why Is Pope Francis Promoting Sin?"
          Calvin and Luther would tell you because Catholicism has strayed from Biblical teaching.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Science Works

          Or was it the talking snake LoA

          January 13, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Or was it the Balaam's donkey, Science Works?
          You have to get past the first sentence in the Bible and believe that before you can believe anything else in it, because unless you believe that God is, then you'll be deceived by any wind of doctrine... To include the notion that something is capable of creating itself...

          January 13, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Science Works

          Yeah Loa

          Adam and his bone – Adam had to bone himself to create eve ?

          January 13, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • DJ

          "You have to get past the first sentence in the Bible and believe that before you can believe anything else in it"

          You're saying that you have to accept up front that the god of the Bible is where the universe came from before you can investigate beyond that. That makes absolutely no sense.

          January 13, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • igaftr

          "it would have to "be" before it "was." This is impossible."

          Not necessarily impossible. Stop thinking that time is linear...it is not.
          It is within the realm of possibility for instance, that the universe could spark a new universe created from a crossing of dimensions, and actually create that universe before this one, and that universe could exist and end, before ours ever existed. Time is not linear, so do not try to subject the all possible universes to YOUR perception of time.

          Either way, YOUR god would need to have been created, by the way your are attempting to argue.

          January 13, 2014 at 10:12 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.