Colombian priest Fr Hernando Fayid said he's going to sell his white Mercedes Benz with a black top following the Pope's recent statement that it wounds his heart to see a priest in a luxurious car, reports ucanews.com.
Fr Fayid told RCN television last week that he had received the car as a gift from his four brothers last year, but will still give it up and it won't bother him. He said he's ridden a burro, a horse, a bicycle and a bus, to say nothing of walking around his town of Santa Marta. In his words, "I have no problem with that."
The 47-year-old priest said he hopes to get about $63,000 for the car.
Fayid's announcement was applauded in Colombia, which is predominantly Catholic. Priests "should provide an example of humility," said 24-year-old accounting assistant Leydi Vega, adding that "no one is asking them to live in extreme poverty ... or to die from hunger."
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.