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Pope ‘amused’ by seat belt complaint

By on Monday, 5 December 2011

Benedict XVI arrives at the Berlin Stadium (Photo: CNS)

Benedict XVI arrives at the Berlin Stadium (Photo: CNS)

The Vatican has said that Pope Benedict XVI greeted with a smile the news that a German citizen had filed a complaint against him for not wearing a seat belt in his popemobile.

The Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said that the complaint was not being taken seriously at the Vatican.

“It continues to provoke curiosity and smiles of amusements, beginning with the Pope himself,” Fr Lombardi said.

Fr Lombardi said it was well known that the popemobile does not travel long distances, moves at a very slow speed and doesn’t generally run the risk of encountering other vehicles in its path.

“The Pope turns continually to the right and to the left to greet and bless the faithful. Often he gets up and takes in his arms babies to bless, to the joy of the parents and everyone present. All these gestures presume a certain freedom of movement,” the spokesman said.

Fr Lombardi added that the Vatican was “grateful for the affectionate concern for the Pope’s safety,” but added that the complaint did not seem to reflect much flexibility in interpreting the meaning of the law.

German news reports said the complaint against the Pope was filed in the city of Dortmund following Pope Benedict’s September visit to his homeland. The Pope travelled frequently in his popemobile during stops in Berlin, Erfurt, Etzelsbach and Freiburg.

The complaint said that on all these occasions the Pope had failed to use the seat belt as required by German law and that, as a repeat offender, he should be fined the maximum of 2,500 euros (£2,150). According to the German reports, the lawyer who filed the complaint said his client was primarily concerned about the safety of the 84-year-old Pope.

  • Anonymous

    Tomorrow: Pope defluffs tumble dryer while whistling Bruckner’s 8th.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal


  • Tiddles the Cat

    Clunk-click every trip!

  • lajmh

    Surely, there has to be an exception here. Besides, how many people in our OWN country use their cell phone while driving. I’m not sure if this is also true in Germany (or elsewhere), but I can bet this person is not exactly the safest driver.

  • Lawrence

    I hope to me that point sounds great as far as Pope`s life is concerned

  • Tkotte

    Don’t YOU just LOVE THE “LAWYER’S” CONCERN FOR THE POPE.  Give to Ceasear the things that are Ceasears and to GOD all things!

  • Kevin Rahe

    There is much peril in enforcing the letter of the law while forgetting its spirit.

  • Torquemada

    Who really cares whether he has his seat belt on or not? Who’s really
    paying for that popemobile, is more to the point…..hopefully not the taxpayers of Germany. Ratzinger and his organization are truly pathetic beings.

  • Anonymous

    This complaint is almost amusing. How many popemobiles are licensed & running on the highways of Germany? There are far more serious issues to criticize this papacy with.

  • Smack Mule

    Scanning some Google-sourced images of German parades (Google can mislead this way, but I don’t think so in this case) people on parade floats don’t wear seatbelts either.  Something about slow-moving processions?  Sounds like a lawyer to avoid.

  • Anonymous

    Glad His Holiness is amused.  This is a frivolous complaint by an individual with too much time on their hands.

  • Andrzej Sikorski

    Keep your thoughts for yourself and leave us alone, “intelligent”..This is Catholic paper

  • Anonymous

    “Blessed are the critical, for they will feel validated.” That’s in there somewhere, isn’t it?

  • Semper Fidelis

    You sound as weird humourless as the complainant. Get a life !,

  • Anyikings80

    thanks d young citizen of german but you know ur request cant be accepted