In November 2017 auto maker Lamborghini gifted the Pope a custom Lamborghini Huracan. Thanks but no thanks replied the Vatican, seems the Pope is more of a conservative Popemobile kind of guy. The Vatican asked Sotheby’s in Monaco to auction it for charity in May 2018. The winning bid of over $900,000 US fell through, the Vatican was stuck with a Lamborghini signed and blessed by the Pope.
Pope Francis blesses a Lamborghini presented by representatives of the Italian automaker at the Vatican Nov. 15, 2017. The car will be offered as a prize in a raffle and the proceeds given to charity. (Credit: CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano.)
So what’s Lamborghini to do with a luxury car signed and blessed by the Pope? Offer the possibility that anyone could drive a blessed Lamborghini of course! For a mere $10 per ticket the prize is staggering. You and a friend flown to Rome, put up in a four star hotel, handed keys to your sweet ride at a ceremony attended by Francis himself and Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Lamborghini. According to contest entry site Omaze, his Holiness is “gifting it to YOU.” See contest home page link below.
Curiously Omaze omits pertinent contest details such as closing date. However, the site is quick to dangle “free spin” perks to those who buy in. The site asserts “Proceeds from this campaign will benefit a number of causes working to transform lives around the world. Your support will help rebuild villages that have been devastated by violence and war, assist victims of human trafficking, provide medical care and education to those living in poverty, and more incredible, live-saving work. Donations will be distributed through Charities Aid Foundation of America [CAFA, a 501(c)(3) public charity] to causes working to support these communities in need.”
Hang on, I stand corrected – buried deep within the fine print a closing date of January 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST. Entrants must be 18 and not residents of Belgium, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria or Thailand. Why Belgium? Thailand?
Catholic charity is no stranger to raffling off gifts to the Pope. In 2015, $12 bought a chance to win unwanted Papal gifts including a new four wheel drive Fiat Panda, a Homero Ortega Panama style hat, a leather suitcase, an espresso coffee maker, watches and bicycles gifted to the Pope. It’s hysterical!
In practical terms I suppose the Pope has to do something with all the gifts bestowed upon him. Maybe I’d feel better if proceeds went to victims of Catholic abuse, hard to say let alone put into words how absurd the notion of raffling off a Pope signed Lamborghini strikes me.