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Complaints continue on 'contribution' for pilgrims attending events during Pope's UK visit

CWN - August 05, 2010

Criticism of the plans for Pope Benedict’s September visit to the United Kingdom continues, with Scottish Catholics noting that they are being asked to pay more than their counterparts in London for attending a papal event.

The suggested donation for those attending a papal Mass in Glasgow is £20 (about $32): not a major expense, but perhaps a considerable cost for a full family. In London, organizers have said that people taking part in a prayer vigil in Hyde Park will be asked to contribute just £3.

Msgr. Andrew Summersgill, who is heading organizational efforts for the papal visit, has rejected complaints that people are being required to pay for entrance to papal ceremonies. The suggested donation is voluntary, he emphasizes. “It is a contribution – not, as I’ve been reading in some places, a charge for people to go to Mass." He adds that expenses incurred for the papal visit make it necessary to secure some revenues.

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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 07, 2010 6:09 AM ET USA

    No one should have to pay to pray with our Holy Father - any fee will eliminate the poorest of the poor from participating. Have we forgotten the poor are the very people our Lord humbly served while on this earth?I have no objection to a basket at the entrance of events for donations according to one's means, but 'suggested contribution amounts' and fees to purchase 'pilgrim packets' just deters the poor - the very people who should be most welcome.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 05, 2010 10:43 PM ET USA

    Why doesn't Scotland do what was done in the United States and distribute tickets to papal events to parishes at no cost? The news account is contradictory: one has purchase a "pilgrim pack" to enter, but the events do not require payment. What is it?

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