Ticket shortage for papal Mass in Birmingham; glut in Scotland?
August 02, 2010
Organizers of Pope Benedict’s September visit to the United Kingdom are facing a heavy demand for tickets to the beatification ceremonies for Cardinal John Henry Newman, but only lukewarm interest in papal ceremonies in Scotland.
The Birmingham archdiocese reports that it will not be able to supply tickers for all of the people who have applied to attend the beatification ceremony, which will be held in Cofton Park. The ceremony had originally been scheduled for an air base, where a larger congregation could have been accommodated. The ceremony was moved to the smaller venue because the logistical and security arrangements for the air base threatened to overwhelm planners and break the budget for the papal visit.
People attending the papal events will be asked to make a contribution to help defray the costs—although organizers have emphasized that they will not require anyone to pay. The Birmingham archdiocese is likely to arrange a random selection to allocate the available tickets.
In Scotland, on the other hand, officials report that some parishes are returning the tickets that were allotted to them for an outdoor Mass scheduled for September 16 in Glasgow. Pastors report that they have been unable to find takers for the tickets, with some complaining about a lack of organization and a poor venue for the papal liturgy.