Some Paraguayans are complaining that the driver of the popemobile had a heavy foot.
Comments are circulating on social media that the popemobile went too fast, leaving Paraguayans who had waited for hours on Asuncion streets to see Pope Francis only a fleeting glimpse of the pontiff as he sped by.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the vehicle traveled at that speed because they did not want a repeat of the delays seen in Ecuador and Bolivia, and that the Asuncion's airport was a greater distance from the presidential palace than in other cities.
Pope Francis has received from Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes a national soccer team jersey with the name ‘Papa Francisco’ and a white wool manta woven in the region where Jesuit missionaries worked in the South American country during the colonial era.
"Gifts without problems," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi with a smile.
Lombardi's comment was a joking reference to the ‘Communist crucifix’, with a carved hammer and sickle, the pope received from Bolivian President Evo Morales. That gift clearly surprised the pope and led to raised eyebrows, though Bolivian officials denied the gift was a political maneuver. It had been designed by a Jesuit activist.