Sounding more like the words of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis has said having the newest material objects, including late model cars, is not the path to happiness.
Reuters reports that Pope Francis told told trainee priests and nuns of the Catholic Church that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the path to happiness and that it hurt him to see a priest or a nun with the latest model car.
“You can't do this," the 266th head of the church said.
"A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world."
Since taking over from Pope Benedict XVI in March, Pope Francis – the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina – has already made his views on lavish lifestyles clear, choosing to live in a Vatican guest house rather than the usual papal apartments and using a Ford Focus for transport around the Vatican City.
Before his exit from the role, Benedict took delivery of a brand new ‘Popemobile‘ based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class luxury SUV, a replacement for the customised G-Class vehicle originally built for Pope John Paul II in 2002.
Retired Popemobiles are displayed at the Vatican as well as in Mercedes-Benz’s own museum in Stuttgart.
On Friday, Pope Francis announced the canonisation of both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, clearing the way for the two to become saints.
Images of Pope Francis Copyright Photographic Service L'Osservatore Romano.