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

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(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 Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (585 Responses)
  1. Light of the World, Salt of the Earth

    It's about time. Unfortunately, Pope Benedict had made me want to leave the church. Pope Francis has kept me in the pew.

    January 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
    • pay your taxes, leaches

      a good lie,, I meant PR will do that for the simple minded

      January 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
    • oscar

      and his name was death and hell followed with him.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
  2. wasserball

    The pope wears a bullet proof vest? Look at the video again!

    January 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      we do have the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch if needed.

      January 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • oscar

      Maybe because he does not want to get shot. Helloooooooooooo.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
      • doobzz

        Can't he just pray for protection?

        January 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
  3. Kevin Childs

    It is very interesting that most comment that I've seen are negative regarding the man who now fills the shoes of the fisherman.
    Very bothersome....but I commend our Pope.

    January 8, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
    • Amanda

      I love this guy and I think he walks the walk!

      January 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
      • Tomato Bob

        He has a LOT of work to do to get the rot out of the church, but I do give him credit for being a big improvement over the last couple millenia of Popes.

        January 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
    • pay your taxes, leaches

      a con man who denies children abused?

      January 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
      • Theology Steve

        The Bible says nothing about sodomizing children, so it must be okay.

        January 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • oscar

          Mark Chapter 9 begins "and if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck". ---I'm with Jesus on this one all the way.

          January 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • Theology Steve

          So you think the victims are sinners? That's lovely.

          January 9, 2014 at 12:43 am |
    • oscar

      What makes this guy any different than my pastor other than my pastor is married and does not dress like a woman and prefers people to follow along in their Holy Bibles as he teaches.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
  4. jack

    This pope is really cool. Greed and selfishness is a huge no-no with him. He absolutely can stand the Tea Party and will grind his heel into them before his reign comes to an end.

    January 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
    • Calvin Patterson

      gee, i wish i could go for a car ride in the fabulous Popemobile too. This Pope may be charismatic , but the office he holds is NOT scriptural ,nor should he be worshipped like the real deal " Jesus Christ "...

      In Jesus,


      January 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
    • oscar

      Doesn't the Bible say something about how people will be thinking hey this anti-Christ is really cool but will be so blind that many will not realize it is the anti-Christ?

      January 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
  5. a follower

    love this pope! he is the epitome of what the ideal man of god should be. unfortunately those religious conservatives a.k.a. haters are the true people who if there is a heaven and hell, they will be condemned to hell! lol

    January 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
  6. Craig

    It's a lot easier to direct people when you start by treating them like people. Distance breeds contempt, and this Pope has that figured out. Jesus didn't preach from on high, despite his supposed position as the Son of God. He wandered amongst the people and treated them ALL with equal respect. This guy might be the last, best hope for the church, and they'd better take him up on what he's offering them.

    January 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  7. lie like the pope

    children abused are suffering today as this pope deflects and ignores them. PR is all.

    January 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
  8. Pope Photo Op

    Fine, but was "gay" the first word out of his mouth when he picked up his friend?

    January 8, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
  9. allon22

    Pope Frankie is just the best, ain't he. Gotta love this guy. Moving Catholicism boldly into the 17th century one step at a time, but at least it's in the right direction.

    January 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  10. Dave Green

    I have to say, I'm somewhat surprised no one has accused the guy of being the "anti-christ." I guess that doesn't fit their paradigm.

    I think it's pretty sad though, that this pope is such an anomaly for being kind that it's news worthy. what does that say about all the other popes before him?

    January 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
    • oscar

      Because many will be so blind to the wonders of the anti-Christ that they will think he is Christ.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
    • JDD

      He's certainly more of an extrovert than Benedict. I think, though, that the acts of charity he's done have been more enthusiastically reported on because some in the culture thought they detected a hint of him changing church teaching to suit them. They are going to hold out hope for a year or two and then I suspect the media's favor will fade a bit. But hopefully a significant percentage of journalists will continue to take him at face-value and report on the charity along with the, yes, Catholic orthodox teaching.

      January 9, 2014 at 12:34 am |
  11. JJ

    As he helped the priest onto the Popemobile, Francis told Baez, "The picture will go around the world,” CNS reports.

    Duh...isn't that the point?!

    January 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
    • Tomato Bob

      It is quite telling of his motive, isn't it.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • JDD

        Yes it is. Just like when Jesus helped a man publicly to rise from his mat and walk.

        Him commenting that people will talk about it is – by your reasoning – automatically a sign of bad motives.

        Didn't jesus warn against presumption of the heart of others?

        I guess the Pope should have just kept right on driving – that would have been the Christ-like thing to do... sheesh.

        January 9, 2014 at 12:40 am |
  12. pablo

    Seems weird and a coincidence that the hitchhiker he picked up "happened" to be a priest don't seem right in me "eyes"

    January 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
  13. james mint

    The Pope was arguing with an Atheist about the existence of God and failing to get his point across. They had been arguing for two hours and finally the Pope in frustration sat down.

    "Listen," said the Pope, "You are like a man in a dark room, with no lights and windows, wearing a blindfold looking for a black cat that isn't there. What do you say to that?"

    The Atheist thought for a moment.

    "Yes your Holiness, you are probably right," he said, "but you are also like a man in a dark room, with no lights and windows, wearing a blindfold looking for a black cat that isn't there. The only difference is, you have found the cat.

    January 8, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
    • anthony

      Nice one!

      January 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • Beth Boyle

      Bitter much, James?

      January 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • magicpanties

        stoopid much, Beth?

        January 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • doobzz

        Wahhhh, I love the pope and you have to love him too! Wahhh, if you don't, you're bitter and angry.

        January 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
  14. james mint

    POPE GAGA !!

    Back in the News for F all.

    Vatican really learned from lady gaga put a silly hat on and act stupid . Jesus must be rolling in his ossuary with this clown.

    January 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
  15. james mint


    Back in the News for F all.

    Vatican really learned from lady gaga put a silly hat on and act stupid . Jesus must be rolling in his ossuary with this clown.

    January 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
  16. J Robinson

    A lot of people here are lucky rich, but would be better off working,

    January 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
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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.