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Colombia priest heeds papal call, sells Mercedes



12 July, 2013 - For a Colombian Catholic priest it may be back to bicycle after he heard Pope Francis call for an austere life. Fr. Hernando Fayid says he's going to sell his white Mercedes Benz E200 convertible following the pope's recent statement that it wounds his heart to see a priest in a luxurious car. Speaking to some 6,000 future priests and religious from 66 nations in the Vatican last Saturday, the Pope said that even religious men and women have to avoid the temptation of thinking that "the latest smartphone, the fastest moped and a car that turns heads" will make them happy. Fr. Fayid told RCN television that he has no problem giving up the car he received as a gift from his brother. He says he has ridden a donkey, a horse, a bicycle and a bus, to say nothing of walking on foot around his town of Santa Marta. The 47-year-old priest says he hopes to get about $63,000 for the car. Fr. Fayid's announcement was applauded in Colombia, which is predominantly Catholic. The president of Colombia's Bishops Conference, Cardinal Ruben Salazar, said that the Catholic Church in Latin America has always embraced austerity. He said the estimated 10,000 Colombian priests in the country each receive the equivalent of about $620 a month. "We priests undoubtedly have to be very conscious that we have to live with our people," said the prelate, "in the conditions in which our people live." (Source: AP)




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