Church And State Officials Really Mad At Scalpers Of Papal Procession Tickets

Image courtesy of (Republic of Korea)

Pope Francis is visiting three East Coast cities this week, bringing holiness and traffic snarls everywhere he goes. While tickets to papal events are usually limited to parishioners living nearby, the city government in New York made 40,000 tickets available by lottery for a procession in Central Park. Free tickets by free lottery. Naturally, people are trying to sell these tickets for hundreds or thousands of dollars online.

Officials of both church and state have condemned the people behind these transactions for really, really missing the point of offering tickets for free to the general public: the idea was to give everyone (well, all residents of New York state) an equal chance at being allowed to attend the procession.

Selling these tickets “goes against everything Pope Francis stands for,” the archbishop of New York told USA Today. Maybe he would approve if the seller took the money and donated it to a homeless shelter or food pantry, but that’s about it.

The mayor’s office has been working to shut sales down online wherever they can, with eBay and Craigslist agreeing to take down ads for the tickets whenever they spot them, but it’s impossible to control people swapping tickets in real life for cash.

New York officials condemn selling of Pope Francis tickets [USA Today]