Are Nuns Allowed to Drive? (Do Nuns Have Drivers’ Licenses?)

Once, I saw a nun drive past me in a 2004 Toyota Rav 4. She headed in the direction of the orphanage in town. At first, I thought nothing of it until my friend pointed out that it contradicted their vows of poverty. Curious, I visited the town’s Catechist and asked him whether nuns can drive. He laughed and explained that there was nothing wrong with nuns driving. We spent the afternoon discussing how nuns live out their vows today. I returned to school with a clearer understanding of the matter. Last week, one of my theology students wanted to know whether nuns kept their driving licenses after joining their orders. I took the chance to share my experience and research on the subject. So, are nuns allowed to drive?

Yes. Nuns can and often drive. However, it’s worth noting that nuns take a vow of poverty which keeps them from owning cars. As such, their orders provide them with cars to use for service. This is often the case in rural areas where they have to travel long distances to reach the communities they serve. You’ll often see them cruise around in simple and inexpensive cars.

In this article, I’ll explore which cars nuns typically drive and why they don’t drive flashy cars. Read on to learn more on the subject.

Do nuns have driver’s licenses?

Yes. Some nuns have their driver’s licenses. They use them as identification and also for driving around. This includes cloistered nuns. Nuns are involved in community service, sometimes in rural areas without proper public transport infrastructure. As such, their orders provide them with simple and reliable cars to help them commute. Additionally, they use their licenses to drive around when running errands for their orders.

What kind of cars do nuns drive?

Do Nuns Have Drivers’ Licenses?
What kind of cars do nuns drive? Image source: Pixabay

Nuns drive simple cars. As mentioned, the orders provide the nuns with cars. Typically, this is one car shared by the nuns in that monastery. In keeping with their vows of poverty, cars tend to be simple, used, and reliable vehicles. The most common brands are Toyota, Honda, and Ford. However, in 2016, some nuns were spotted driving a BMW i8. I guess simplicity is interpreted differently.

Can nuns drive flashy cars?

The Catholic Church discourages flashy cars among nuns, monks, and priests. Driving around in the latest Mercedes Benz or Audi contradicts their vows of poverty, taking the focus away from their service to the community. After all, a nun cruising in the latest BMW won’t effectively connect with the poor she’s trying to serve. Furthermore, according to the Vatican’s 10 commandments for drivers, cars shouldn’t be an expression of dominance and power. Flashy cars contradict this.

What does the Pope say about nuns driving expensive cars?

Are Nuns Allowed to Drive?
What does the Pope say about nuns driving expensive cars? Image source: Pixabay

The Pope discourages flashy cars among nuns, monks, and priests. In 2013, Pope Francis discouraged nuns and priests from using expensive cars. According to the Pope, this wasn’t right as it contradicted their mission to serve society. Pope Francis encouraged them to choose inexpensive and “humble” cars that serve their purpose without drawing undue attention.

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