About a month ago, Pope Francis took account of the expensive cars that Vatican staff and leaders were driving and said “No more.” The leaders were directed to get rid of them and start driving the type of cars driven by the mainstream.
News reports noted that while a Cardinal in Argentina, he took buses and trains, sitting with the general population.
Taken alone, I don’t think that the Mercedes were a bad idea. It’s easy to assume that the main reason to drive a luxury car is for the luxury.
A case in point is when the wealthy City of Highland Park, Texas considered buying Mercedes Benz cars for their police force. They had done research that said that Mercedes had a longer lifespan with fewer maintenance costs, so would in the long run actually be more economical. But they also realized that having their police drive around in luxury cruisers would send a disastrous public relations message.
Likewise, the scriptures tell us to be wise with our money, but that can be a challenging concept to put in a box. Maybe the Cardinal’s Mercedes were frugal and best suited their needs (some of which we may not know,) in the long run. Maybe Mercedes made them a whole lot better deal than Kia.
But the image radiated from getting rid of them moves toward a humble Christ-like position.
So keep it up, Pope Francis. Maybe some of the paintings next?