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A hybrid popemobile? Vatican says maybe

Popemobile

How well do red shoes go with a green car?

The Vatican may soon find out, according to spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who told the Associated Press that a hybrid, energy-saving Mercedes-Benz vehicle could replace the current popemobile.

Perhaps by the end of this year or early next year, German-born Pope Benedict XVI could be driven around in a fuel-efficient auto when he travels abroad, Lombardi said.

A Mercedes spokesman told the AP that he couldn’t confirm plans to develop such a car.  But could such a step help dub Benedict the "green pope"?

The Telegraph thinks so, pointing to the pontiff’s many discussions of conservation, consumerism and climate change. The Vatican’s main auditorium, Nervi Hall, now has solar panels. The city-state is pushing to get 20% of the electricity it uses from renewable sources.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI in his popemobile in Croatia this month. Credit: Pier Paolo Cito / Associated Press

 
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