Pope Francis waves to pilgrims
Pope Francis waves to pilgrims as he arrives in the popemobile to give an open-air mass at the Campo San Juan Pablo II on the outskirts of Panama City, on January 27, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Wherever the Pope went, the popemobile was there. And so will it be in Abu Dhabi next week.

Fr Lennie J.A. Connully OFM Cap, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai, said that Pope Francis will be on the popemobile as he enters at the Zayed Sports City Stadium for the Holy High Mass on the morning of February 5.

The specially-equipped vehicle is used to transport the pontiff at various public appearances for security reasons.

Image Credit: Gulf News

“It is confirmed. The popemobile is being brought from the Vatican,” Fr Lennie told Gulf News.

“For the people attending the mass, it’s better to be outside [the stadium] because you will see him very close. But inside, he will be on the stage. Those who are closer to the stage, the VIPs, the government officials, which number about 9,000, will have a clearer view of him. All others will be behind them, and the rest will be in the galleries; of course they will see from afar. But there will be LCD screens for [easier viewing].”

Pope Francis often makes a few stops during his public appearances to bless infants and children. That may not be possible here, Fr Lennie said.

“Here, he will be in the popemobile. Naturally he cannot come out. People cannot come to him. From inside the mobile, he will wave to people. He will bless them. It will be a very restricted access to the pope here.”