September 14th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

Popemobile takes center stage for UK state visit

London, England (CNN) - The Popemobile has landed, just ahead of the pontiff himself who arrives for the first ever papal state visit to the UK. There is some debate about the cost of this event for British taxpayers but it is going ahead, and the Popemobile will play an integral role.

Appropriately enough, the car is a Mercedes; a converted M-Class. A German Popemobile for a German pontiff. It's been used before but this is its UK debut and I got a closer look at what's become a symbol of the pope's overseas tours.

It is rather grand: white, with few markings, the Mercedes logo and Vatican coat of arms. A raised seat allows crowds to see Pope Benedict XVI behind large sheets of bullet-proof glass. The side panels and undercarriage are armor-plated which makes it a secure, but heavy, vehicle.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Yorkie

    Yorkie here again.
    Does the pedomobile have a Johnson & Johnson KY lubricating jelly dispenser incase the pope has to rub down a 'Tallboy" ?

    September 16, 2010 at 2:34 am |
  2. Woody

    Isn't the whole idea of religion to end up in heaven? If he should meet his demise riding down the street, wouldn't that put him on a non-stop flight to the Pearly Gates? This reminds me of Oral Roberts, years ago, who said "The Lord was going to call him home" unless the suckers, excuse me, the viewers of his TV show sent him 8 million dollars. I remember thinking at the time (after I stopped laughing), isn't this what he wants, to go to heaven? All the lifetime of prayers and rituals and sacrifices are to convince sky god that you're a good enough "yes" person to get your mansion in the sky. I can't understand what the Pope is worried about. He should be looking forward to eternal life.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:41 am |
    • peace2all


      Yeah..... that is what Oral 'said'..... but, he wanted the $$$$$$$$$. I am not sure, if he *truly* believes in the pearly gates.

      But, I am with ya' on this one... Nice post....


      September 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      We are supposed to preserve human life until God decides ‘it is time’. God doesn’t stop someone from doing what they want with their freewill so if a person wants to kill someone they often do just that. That does not mean that God wanted that person to die just then but evil is in conflict with good and at those times evil wins. Just like in abortion and euthanasia; that is man deciding, not God.

      With your scenario, why don’t we all just go out and jump in front of a truck….it is because generally we all are grateful for life and that is something placed in our being by God…a desire to live. What this does for us is gives us ‘time’ to repent of our sins and learn to love our neighbor as ourselves. If your life is taken too soon, well, you might not get your ‘job’ done.

      We all should be looking forward to the promises of Christ; and we can all have that hope [Rom. 8:24] as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling [Phil. 2:12], as long as we persevere until the end. [Mt.24:13]!

      September 15, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • Frank

      Well, martyr obsessed Christianity is a form of nihilism.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • SomeTruth

      According to the myth, "God" knows at the instant (and even before) that he created you what the cause of your demise would be - whether by stillborn birth, cancer, suicide, accident or old age. Would you be a believer or atheist - he knew. Yeah, I say huh? too.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    The Pope is infallible, not bullet proof. Plus, that giant hat makes him an easy sniper target.
    A Benz though? Seems a rather ostentatious car for someone who took a vow of poverty. They should build a lucite box over a Kia instead.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:36 am |
    • Reality

      I don't believe B16 belongs to a priestly order that takes the vow of poverty.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Pope Benedict XVI's apartment or room is small and sparely furnished as was Pope John Paul's. You must not watch EWTN. They give great tours in case you can't get there for a visit.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  4. Jessie

    It's a car that says, "I'm corrupt and there's nothing any of you peons can do about it."

    September 15, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  5. ThankBuddha

    Peter Griffin should drive it.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • Arglebargle

      Nahhh! He'd probably hijack the pope and take him home. Gotta watch those wackos from Quahog!

      September 15, 2010 at 6:01 am |
  6. TheRationale

    Bulletproof glass: Faith in action. He can tell you to pray for anything, but when it comes to him, he's no fool.

    I also seem to recall quite a number of UK citizens charging him with crimes against humanity if he ever came to the UK. I wonder what happened to them.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Deuteronomy 6:16

      "You shall not put the LORD, your God, to the test……..

      September 15, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Arglebargle

      @CatholicMom...you need to get out more, dearie. Either that, or you've been hitting that sacramental wine a bit too much!

      September 15, 2010 at 6:02 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Sometimes one answer fits all.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  7. Molly

    Geez, why not just give him a tank? I suppose that would send the wrong message.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  8. TPF

    The Popemobile is a huge joke.I remember when Drew Carrey was doing stand up comedy, and he made a joke about the Pope way back then. And the joke was If the Pope is afraid of dying what chance in Hell do we have? And what the Hell is he afraid of? Think about it, it makes you really wonder!

    September 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      When Pope Paul was shot, he attributed his survival to Mary guiding the bullet. It's been a long time. Maybe the CatholicMom imposter can tell us about this.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  9. Arglebargle

    Seems rather silly. If this pope-guy is supposed to be God's representative on earth, why would he need any protection like bullet-proof glass in the first place? If God didn't want him dead, it simply wouldn't happen.

    Reminds me of those infamous words uttered by Lord Vader: "I find your lack of faith...disturbing."

    September 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Molly

      Because wack-o nut jobs try to shoot at them.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Deuteronomy 6:16

      "You shall not put the LORD, your God, to the test……..

      September 15, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • CatholicMom

      The Pope is afraid to die and go to Heaven. He knows it doesn't exist, but if it did, he would be condemned to the Everlasting Pit of HeII.
      So he doesn't tempt fate or "test" "God". The richest, most powerful pedophile on the planet. Of course not. How silly.
      Is he not an "evildoer"? The Truth is going to slam him into HeII so fast and hard that the Pope's soul (a black slimy thing) will probably leave a stain on the Lake of Fire itself.
      But the Church has no stain. Nope. How can a lie have a stain? It's just a concept. That's how sinners are protected so well from having to pay for their crimes. They are "forgiven" and the crime is magically wiped away by the power of the Church.
      I know, it's very ironic for a lie to protect liars, but "a house divided against itself cannot stand", so that's how Satan (who rules the world) is protected by the Church as well. He started it, kept it going all these years, and remains hidden from the faithful as a sign to them that their faith is real faith and not some cheap substltute.
      We used to laugh about the "exorcisms" that were done to calm the sinners in the church. They have never figured it out in all these years, even after the advent of modern psychology. But we forgive them. LOL

      September 15, 2010 at 5:00 am |
    • Arglebargle

      Some people take things WAY too seriously. He's just a pope...it's not like they're not a dime a dozen or anything...sheesh!
      Ya just have to like dressing up in silky white things and wear funny hats and have yer poop checked to see if it looks like some famous dead saint or whatever. Oh, and hangin' around with the alter boys a lot...that's important, too.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:59 am |
    • David Johnson

      I liked the real CatholicMom better...

      September 15, 2010 at 8:35 am |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,
      Thank you! It seems when people hate it taints everything they do.
      Thank you for having eyes to see.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:23 am |
    • Griz


      You sound like a real headcase. A Satanist using the name "CatholicMom". That's really gross. Too bad we have to read your sick humor without some sort of warning. Why not change your name to something more in line with your sickness?
      Then we could ignore your posts for the insanity they are.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Yes, Griz, there is a head case who is using my posting name of CatholicMom and has done it on other sites also; he thinks he is hurting me but it is not just Catholics who are on here, too; but once everyone knows he is doing this, it is real easy to see ‘who is who’ and you can skip over his comments…no problem. At least this way, his comments won’t even get read….

      September 15, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Griz


      Good grief! That's just sick. Sorry I had you mixed up with your stalker, then. It sure explains alot. I guess this just isn't my day for being accurate or perceptive. Sorry again.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • peace2all


      To the REAL @CatholicMom:

      Thank you for the head's up on someone using your name to post...... We shall find a way to 'smite' this person for you...!!

      I hope that you are well...?

      As always.... Peace to you......

      September 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      LOL @ Arglebargle. Good point... But you gotta admit, that's one nice ride.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Real Catholic Mom: Doesn't this guy ever give up? Can't we report abuse and boot him?

      September 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • peace2all


      Now THAT was funny....priceless...! 🙂


      September 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Joe

      You've got a point. If somebody puts a RPG in his a$$, isn't that part of gods plan? If the big wizard in the sky is in control of everything, you'd think he could keep his number two from getting snuffed.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • SomeTruth


      Not funny any more (if ever). Too bad, you know there are people who might even agree with a few things that you say, but you are ruining your credibility with this juvenile nonsense.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  10. Just_Wondering

    If this ridiculous display of pomposity takes lots of money from Catholic coffers and spreads it around to the fish 'n chips vendors and other innovative Brits, then I guess I'm for it...

    September 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • peace2all


      Well.... THAT is a 'big' IF........ But, IF that happens, then yep, I would be for it. But, very skeptical at this point as far as the money trail concerning the RCC and it's Chief Financial Officer.... 🙂


      September 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
    • MikeTX

      The Catholic Church does not pay for the popemobile. It is paid by the country he is visiting.
      If the PM of England visits the U.S., he gets a bullet-proof, decked out car. It is provided by the U.S. He doesn't bring his own.
      Heads of state don't fly around with their vehicles. They are generally provided by the country they are visiting.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Just_Wondering

      Mike TX:

      Thanks... good info.

      I read a while back that UK Catholics were being asked for donations to finance the trip, so I figured that at least *that* money wouldn't go to the Church as regular "Sunday" donations; but whatever part of it that the UK has to pop for is, I suppose, an issue between the populace and their gov't.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Just_Wondering

      Mike TX:

      I took another look... and it seems as though the Vatican *does* own the popemobile - it has several of them.

      UK does provide a bunch of security coverage, though.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • peace2all


      Sorry pal..... If you would have read the article, it very clearly states that the Vatican *does* own the ol' Popemobile.

      Just correctin'


      September 15, 2010 at 1:19 am |
  11. Reality

    Considering the crazy, koranic-driven Muslims in the UK, one predicts an assassination attempt using an Iraqi-perfected roadside bomb.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • peace2all


      What took ya' so long....? This blog article needed a bit of 'sunshine' to it... 🙂

      Hope that you are well...!


      September 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  12. David Johnson

    Wanna go for a ride in my car little Timmy?

    September 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • peace2all

      @David Johnson

      Ewwwwwww now THAT gave me the creeps...... 🙂

      David.... what are we going to do with ya'.... Really....? Gotta' admit..... you got some good one-liners..... among your enlightening posts....


      September 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David Johnson: Somehow you made me hear Leslie Nielsen in my head just now. "Ever seen a grown man naked?"
      Jesus rode a donkey. But in regards the car, I have to quote another famous jew: "It's good to be the king."

      September 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • peace2all


      Ah.... I think Dave does *not* need any more encouragement for his 'twisted' postings.... 🙂

      And quoting Leslie Nielsen...THAT is where your brain went with that.... Oh my.... I am sensing we are going to have to do some kind of 'intervention' on the both of you.... and Kate... 🙂


      September 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  13. peace2all


    1)A new 'meme'.....will possibly go viral and be stuck in our brains (Popemobile).... god, I hope not.

    2)Shameless advertisement and promotion of...."Mercedes Benz"

    3)The Pope-- Maybe I missed something here, but didn't get the relevance of the Chief Catholic who 'talks to god' and apparently god talks back.... I thought that would be much more interesting.... just my opinion.....


    September 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
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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.