Thursday 18 December 2014

Pope gives old friend a spin in popemobile

Published 08/01/2014 | 16:55

Fabian Baez, a priest from a church in downtown Buenos Aires, sits in the popemobile as Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican January 8, 2014. The priest was given an unexpected lift by Pope Francis, who allowed him to jump on the back of the popemobile for a special ride. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION)
Fabian Baez, a priest from a church in downtown Buenos Aires, sits in the popemobile as Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican
Fabian Baez, a priest from a church in downtown Buenos Aires, is greeted by Pope Francis at the end of the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Pope Francis has broken with papal protocol once again, inviting a friend for a spin in his popemobile.

Fabian Baez, a priest from Francis' hometown in Buenos Aires, did not have a VIP ticket for the pope's weekly general audience. But as soon as Francis saw him in the crowd, the pope signaled for the Vatican guards to help him jump the barricade and approach.

Francis then invited him to hop aboard, and Father Baez accompanied Francis on his tour through St. Peter's Square as the pope waved to well-wishers and kissed babies handed up to him.

He said he was shocked by Francis' invitation: "I said to myself 'What am I doing here? Mamma mia!'"

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