Since the Holy Father doesn't want to do Central Park on a bike, the public will have to settle for seeing Pope Francis roll through in a "tricked-out four-door Jeep Wrangler." Of course, this has some people very, very worried.
Security for the pope is a big deal, with dozens of city, state and federal agencies trying to cooperate and keep Papa safe. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said earlier this month, "He likes to get out with the people and with that comes a large security risk. We are monitoring very closely threats against the pope as he comes into the United States. We have disrupted one particular case in particular, but as that date approaches, I think we’re all very, being very vigilant to protect him as he comes into the United States."
The biggest wrinkle is that Pope Francis likes being close to the people, and the Popemobile, which was shipped to the Secret Service during the summer, is not completely encased in bulletproof glass: The U.S. Popemobile is expected to be similar to the one he used in Ecuador, which had a canopy and a front shield.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who also ran as a Republican for a House seat last year, told WND, "Because of the way Pope Francis wants his security handled, with a more discrete presence, the pope’s visit to the United States is a security disaster... There is no person in the world with a higher threat profile than the pope. If Vatican security insists on the pope riding through crowds in an open Popemobile with minimal security presence running alongside, the Secret Service concern is legitimate."
He added, "The Vatican’s decisions on the pope’s security are putting the Secret Service in an unworkable situation. The Vatican is setting up the Secret Service to fail, and if anything happens to the pope, people are going to blame the Secret Service, not Vatican security."
The Washington Post noted that the Pope liked the more airy Popemobile: "It’s true that anything could happen, but let’s face it, at my age, I don’t have much to lose."