Vatican journalists protest high cost for accompanying papal flights
March 24, 2017
Journalists who cover the Vatican have lodged a protest against the high cost that is assessed on reporters who accompany the Pope on foreign trips.
In a letter to Vatican officials, thirty journalists representing international news agencies have complained about the €1,738 ($1,877) cost that the Vatican has announced for reporters who wish to travel on the papal plane to Fatima in May. That price “seems completely disproportionate,” the journalists argue, noting that comparable commercial flights cost about $250.
The Vatican regularly makes seats available for reporters on the Pope’s flights abroad. The costs assessed to the reporters help to subsidize the papal travel.
The journalists’ protest was conveyed in a letter to three Vatican officials: Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the sostituto or deputy secretary of state; Greg Burke, the director of the Vatican press office; and Msgr. Mauricio Rueda Beltz, the coordinator for papal trips. However the reporters also suggest that Pope Francis himself should be sympathetic to their concerns, since he has decried the commercialization of church functions.
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