Christ on a bike! Pope Frankie blesses 1,400 Harleys and gets two free ‘hogs’ plus a leather jacket

LAST week the Irish Independent reported that Pope Frankie performed a “Blessing of the Motorbikes” for hundreds of Harley-Davidson owners who gathered at St Peter’s Square to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the brand.


He blessed 1,400 bikes and was presented with two gleaming models and a black leather biker jacket by Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Senior VP, but he bottled out from testing the gifts.


While this went down well with the “hog” owners who converged on the Vatican, the Italian consumer association, Codacons, said it would file a complaint against the event’s organisers, and blasted the Pope for giving the company free publicity.

Since it was a marketing event, the pontiff would have done well to avoid giving free advertising to a well-known brand, especially considering the damage done to the city and its inhabitants.

This referred to the fact that a 40-km (25-mile), three-day Harley-Davidson rally that took place from the port city of Ostia through central Rome annoyed some residents who complained about the traffic and noise.

To make matters worse, ten bikes were involved in a serious prang on the capital’s ring road. Not sure whether this happened before or after the papal blessing.




25 responses to “Christ on a bike! Pope Frankie blesses 1,400 Harleys and gets two free ‘hogs’ plus a leather jacket”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    In Hog we trust.

  2. Daz says:

    Erm, one cannot own a hog. It’s an acronym for Harley Owners Group.

    And anyway, Jesus rides a Triumph, or least he did when he entered Jerusalem.

  3. tony e says:

    There’s a history of the RC blessing machines.

    Killing Joke used a picture of Alban Schachleiter blessing German troops and tanks for their greatest hits album cover.

    Shinto priests did the same with Kamikazi planes and pilots.

    Good to see the power of prayer was as effective then as it is now.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Harley-Davidson: Road-shy and vile

  5. barriejohn says:

    Harley Davidsons: Sad holy invaders

  6. Daz says:

    Or the one that Harley tried to sue people for, ’til the Streisand effect kicked in: “hardly dangerous.”

    Talking (OT) of which, I think this is a pair of BSA 650 Spitfire engines, for those who’re into bikes. I’d hate to have to try to synchronise the throttles though… Link

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @Daz: I want to see the other side to check if the chain is actually being driven by both engines.

    As for the H/D’s, you need a blessing to ride one of them!

  8. barriejohn says:

    Famous German motorcyclist receives warm welcome from freedom-loving guardian of men’s souls:

  9. Daz says:


    I also wondered about gearing, given that the engines (whatever they are) appear to be unit-construction, with inbuilt gearboxes. Personally, I’d have gone for a ’50s engine without that complication, and have them both drive a single gearbox.

    Barriejohn, caption for that picture. BMW: Bigot meets wanker.

  10. The Woggler says:

    Really, associating with a gang of thugs and criminals does one’s reputation no good. What were the Hell’s Angels thinking?

  11. barriejohn says:

    Daz: I’m with Woggler. Which is which?

  12. The Woggler says:

    Perhaps calling them Hell’s Angels is old hat But then, I’ve an old head.

  13. Daz says:


    “Which is which?”

    Take your pick. Or make both nouns plural…

    Oh, the Hells Angels thing: They’re not HA, they’re HOG. HA back-patches have a top-rocker with the club-name on it: Link

  14. Daz says:

    Oops, I borked the link

    Try this one.

  15. tony e says:


    I admire the onlookers for keeping a straight face.

  16. Angela_K says:

    What a bunch of traitors are these Harley riders, sucking up to the chief bigot – they should be ashamed.

    I’m with Daz and Triumphs [nothing to do with the fact I own two]

  17. barriejohn says:

    @tony e: How can you scoff?

    As for the practical contribution that this service has. The number of people killed or seriously injured on roads within Lincolnshire continues on a downward trend, with around half of the fatalities in 2009 than ten years ago. This does coincide to a degree with the inception of the blessings, but I can only let individuals draw their own conclusions on the efficiency of any divine intervention.

    (This isn’t a spoof, is it?)

    That silly prayer only serves to demonstrate to the sane that prayer and meditation are nothing more than conditioning and self-hypnosis – a fact that became increasingly apparent to me as a Christian. Public prayer is just another form of exhortation, with a captive audience, as many Christians are only too aware!

  18. Trevor Blake says:

    The Pope was only trying to placate the bike owners, since is boss God can’t fight any team that uses iron chariots. “And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.” Judges 1:19

  19. tony e says:


    How can I not scoff?

    Cheers for the link.

  20. Marky Mark says:

    (Really, associating with a gang of thugs and criminals does one’s reputation no good. What were the Hell’s Angels thinking?)

  21. 1859 says:

    No! No – You guys have got it all wrong! He blessed them because they ALL LOOKED LIKE JESUS!! Before him must have been 50 or more Jesus look-alikes….

    ‘Look-alikes on bikes,
    dressed in leather and spikes….’

    (anyone dare to continue?)

  22. Robster says:

    Does this new, improved pope bloke do any sort of regular “pope-al” things, like going to church and uttering silly nonsene like all the other popes? He seems to spend his time wandering about on busses saying nice things about the poor and even atheists. Perhaps he’s a little bored tucked away in his padded cell.

  23. Ian says:

    Daz, I wouldn’t fancy riding that Harley without asbestos pants. Lying forward at that angle could cause serious issues with your tranclements! Nasty, very nasty!