Priest hitched ride in popemobile

Fr. Fabian Baez

Fr. Fabian Baez

January 20, 2014

When Father Fabian Baez booked his trip to Rome, he didn't have an appointment to meet with the pope, so he gave himself ample time in the Eternal City to be able to arrange some way to see him.

A week and a half in Rome seemed like plenty of time to meet up with the pope "because I thought I needed to find a ticket, to get a ticket to a general audience.

Instead he found me," the priest told Catholic News Service Jan 9.

Baez, a parish priest in the pope's former Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, arrived in Rome late Jan. 7 but did not manage to get a ticket to the next day's general audience which would have given him a decent seat in St. Peter's Square.

He went to hear the catechesis anyway.

"I had no ticket so I couldn't really come into the square. I was outside the audience area.

But he saw me from a distance."

The pope yelled to him, "What are you doing here?" the priest said. And he yelled back, "I came to see you!"

The pope had the driver stop the vehicle. He gestured to the priest to come.

The priest joined Pope Francis in the popemobile and then got a seat near the pope during his audience talk.