Famously frugal in his tastes, Pope Francis normally favours modest Fiats and Fords when he is driven around on trips abroad, but on Wednesday he took possession of something a little classier – a Lamborghini supercar.
The white-painted, special edition Lamborghini Huracan, which sells for around 180,000 euros, perfectly matched the pope’s white cassock as he blessed it outside the Casa Santa Marta, the guesthouse within the Vatican where he lives.
The Pope will not, sadly, be spotted roaring around the cobbled streets of Rome behind the wheel of the sports car.
The Vatican announced that the vehicle will be auctioned at Sotheby’s, with the proceeds to go to three of the pontiff’s favoured charities.
They include a fund to rebuild homes and churches for Christians chased out of Iraq by Islamic State terrorists. The rebuilding efforts will be focused on the Nineveh Plains, north-east of Mosul, where Christians were forced to flee years of fighting.
The aim is to allow Christians who were forced to leave the region “to finally return to their roots and recover their dignity,” the Holy See said.
Of the two other charities that will benefit from the sale, one helps migrant women who are trafficked and forced into prostitution and another provides medical aid in Africa.
The Pope’s blessing of the car is likely to ensure that it sells for far more than its original value. When he was given a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2013, it sold a year later at auction in Paris for $327,000, despite retailing for around $13,000.