Pope Francis is forgoing his bulletproof Popemobile for his upcoming trip to Brazil for the Catholic Church’s youth festival.
The Argentine pontiff will instead use the same open-topped car he uses for travelling around St Peter’s Square when he arrives in Rio de Janeiro on July 22.
In recent times, popes have always used the protected Popemobile for trips outside Rome, but Francis ended the tradition when he used an open-topped Fiat during his recent visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Francis has made a point of tweaking Vatican protocol, especially where it concerns the trappings of the papacy and his ability to connect with ordinary people.
Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi announced the change during a briefing about the pope’s July 22-28 trip.