Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that the Popes’ Fiat 500L ride that he used during his visit in September to Philadelphia is going up for auction.
“I am deeply grateful to FIAT Chrysler for its generosity in giving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the two FIATS used by Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia on September 26-27, 2015,” Archbishop Chaput said.
Proceeds from the car auction will go to Catholic Charities for family, housing, and homeless services. Attendees can bid on the night of the Black Tie Tailgate at 9 p.m. EST.
“When we learned that these vehicles would be given to us, we wanted to find some way for the public to see them and answer Pope Francis’ call to love and care for the poor,” Archbishop Chaput said. “Our partnership with the Philadelphia Auto Show provides us with the wonderful opportunity to share these vehicles with the community while also connecting with a highly engaged audience for the great benefit of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized members.”
Pope Francis has always told priests that ambition, riches and prestige have no place in the life of a priest or religious.He has often urged priests to follow his example and stop driving expensive cars since he himself is driven around in a modestly-priced Ford Focus.
During his visit last year in September the company ‘FIAT Chrysler’ made available the cars for the Popes’ convenience during his time in Philadelphia. After the Popes’ trip, the company donated the cars to the Archdiocese and they in turn teamed up with the annual Philadelphia Car Show to auction at least one of the cars to benefit the charity.
Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families Philadelphia said, “The FIAT is such an icon of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and the auction of this vehicle serves as an extraordinary final event to close this memorable chapter in the City’s history, the good that this auction will bring to the Catholic Charities Appeal, Mercy Hospice, Casa Del Carmen and the Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education is simply incomparable.”
“We are delighted to have Pope Francis’ FIAT 500L on display for the entirety of the Philadelphia Auto Show and we are excited to add this auction component to the Black Tie Tailgate. David Kelleher, Chairman of the Philadelphia Auto Show said.
“No other Auto Show in the U.S. has such a display and we are hopeful that this will drive even greater attendance in Philadelphia. An opportunity like this is truly once in a lifetime.”