POPE Francis says he has ditched the secure confines of his bullet-proof Popemobile in order to be closer to the people.
Likening the high-security vehicle to a “sardine can”, the Argentine pope told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia he saw the glass that separated him from the people as “a wall”.
He said security was not his highest priority.
“It is true that anything could happen, but let’s face it, at my age I do not have much to lose.
“I cannot say hello to people and tell them I love them in a sardine can.”
The high-security Popemobile was introduced after Pope John Paul II was shot in a 1981 assassination attempt.
Pope Francis however, has repeatedly shunned the high security approach of his predecessors.
Other topics covered by the pontiff in the Q and A style interview with the newspaper included poverty and humility of the church, his trip to the Middle East, Jewish relations and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
“I’ll do the same as him,” Pope Francis said. “Ask the Lord to enlighten me when the time comes and tell me what I have to do.”