September 11, 2013
The Pope and his ride. (Osservatore Romano/Reuters)
The Pope and his ride. (Osservatore Romano/Reuters)

Pope Francis is the man!

Every week, it seems, the leader of the estimated 1.2 billion Catholics around the world does something heavenly to bolster his down-to-earth street cred. An incredible feat for a man living in the world’s largest gated community, a.k.a. The Vatican. The latest example is his new car. Okay, it’s a used car, a 1984 Renault donated by a priest from northern Italy. Still, the pontiff intends to drive it himself on Vatican grounds.

News of the holy hot rod comes just a couple of days after the New York Times reported that the Pope has been cold calling letter writers. In one example, a divorced woman with a married boyfriend who tried to get her to have an abortion wrote the pontiff because she was afraid of her standing in the church. His Holiness offered to baptize the baby.

Pope Francis is also totally into selfies. Almost two weeks ago, he posed with a group of teenagers who took the self-made snapshot. The photo went viral when one of them posted it to Facebook.

The pontiff is also shaking things up on a substantive level. He set off an earthquake in the church when he said in July, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” And this morning we awoke to news that the issue of “priestly celibacy” might be open to discussion.

Though I attended Catholic schools, I’m not Catholic. But I certainly like what I see. I pray the fresh air blowing through the Vatican never stops.

RELATED: Pope Francis’s acts of humility

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.