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Critics--including some priests--rap costs of papal visit to Spain

August 09, 2011

Led by dissident Catholics—including a group of liberal priests—some Spaniards are raising objections to the expenses of World Youth Day (WYD) and the visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Madrid.

The overall cost of WYD will be at least €50 million ($70 million), organizers say. More than 80% of these costs will be covered by the payments of the young people taking part in the event, and by private donations. The remainder will be subsidized by corporate sponsors.

The Priests’ Forum, which claims to represent pastors in Madrid’s poor neighborhoods, objects to the corporate subsidies. Charging that the multinational corporations that are sponsoring the visit are also responsible for the worldwide economic crisis, the group argues that the Church should not accept such funding.

Critics are also complaining that the costs of WYD are excessive in light of the budget cuts that have been forced on many Western governments, including Spain’s. Echoing an argument that is advanced in the Gospels(John 12:4-5), the Priests’ Forum suggests that the money invested in WYD could have been spent on the poor.

Critics of the WYD plans will rally on the eve of the Pontiff’s arrival. They are encouraging a boycott of the corporate sponsors.


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 10, 2011 9:34 AM ET USA

    I suspect the Holy Father's journey to evangelize the young people of the world is what our Lord has called him to do. It would be best to pray for him during this time that he will have a safe and successful trip.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 09, 2011 8:35 PM ET USA

    Over a million attendees, hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms and other accommodations, millions of meals, souvenirs, etc. This is a BILLION EURO economic bonanza for Madrid and Spain entirely apart from its spiritual benefit.