Pope Francis is known in Argentina for riding the bus. After his election, I wrote, "However, I doubt Pope Francis will never again utilize public transportation."
Well, it seems that the new Pope really likes buses because he eschewed the Popemobile for a shuttle bus ride with the College of Cardinals. OK, it isn't exactly public transportation but I guess Francis likes company when he travels. The new pontiff probably didn't lead the Cardinals in a rendition of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" but I'm sure it was a memorable ride just the same.
And for good measure, he paid his own hotel bill in person.
Some might argue that this is just for show. But given that this was his modus operandi as Archbishop of Buenos Aires I suspect this won't be the last of such public gestures.
Now I also commented that the temptations and trappings of power can overcome the most humble and holy of men. Yet it would appear that Pope Francis is making it part of his mission to demonstrate that while he is a man of the cloth he is also a man who is no better and no worse than anyone else. Now that Francis has been elevated to a position of enormous responsibility I guess he wants to show Catholics and non-Catholics alike that he will lead by example. Should he continue to set these kind of examples he will leave the Catholic Church a better place than he found it.
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