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Priest gives used car to pope, who wants to drive

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    In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture made available by the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis looks at a Renault 4L donated to him by Rev. Renzo Zocca, not pictured, as he speaks with Zocca's assistant Luigi Macchioni, left, at the Vatican. Rev. Zocca, 70, told the Associated Press on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 that he has dedicated his life to helping the needy on the outskirts of Verona, so when he saw that Pope Francis' priority was to reach out to the world's poor and inspire the Catholic leaders to go to slums and peripheries to preach, he decided to donate what he calls his 25-year-old "car of the French farmers" as a symbol of this approach. The pontiff invited Rev. Zocca for a private audience and on that occasion the priest had the car brought to the Vatican. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

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    AP

Pope Francis now has his own mini popemobile after getting a good deal on a used car that he plans to drive himself.

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, says Francis accepted the 1984 Renault 4, donated for free by a priest in northern Italy who used it to visit poor parishioners. The four-door car, in papal white, is manual shift and has a new engine. Benedettini told The AP on Wednesday: "The pope intends to drive it."

The donor, the 69-year-old Rev. Renzo Zocca, says he took Francis for a short drive in the car at the Vatica non Saturday and that Francis told him he knows how to drive it.

Zocca said he thinks Francis will use it for short commutes on Vatican grounds.