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Spanish Priests Object to Papal Visit Sponsors

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 29, 2011 05:00 PM

When the Pope visited Britain last year, it was estimated to cost taxpayers around 10 million pounds ($16 million).

So Spain is taking a different tack. The Pope is supposed to visit the country in late August for World Youth Day 2011 and the organizers have sold a number of sponsorships to such companies as Coca-Cola, Telefonica, Santander and Iberia, according to Reuters.

The news agency notes that there are number of priests, who have sworn themselves to poverty, who are not happy about the sponsorship situation.

Reuters notes that 120 priests signed their names to “a rare joint letter” to Archbishop of Madrid Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela to let him know that they objected to the sponsorship deals.

"It's been necessary to form a pact with the economic and political powers which reinforces the image of the church as a privileged institution, close to power, and the social scandal this implies, especially in the context of the economic crisis," the priests said in the letter (posted on the "priests of Madrid" website), Reuters translates.

Miraculously, the logos of the brand sponsors appeared on the official website of the Madrid 2011 website — until Reuters' report was posted on June 22nd.


papa stas Poland says:

Spain's economy is slightly better than Greece's at the moment.

So let Spain's archdioceses pay for their Pope's visit.

Wonder how the Bishops would take that?

Hell, the catholic church is one of the richest organizations in the world.


June 30, 2011 04:17 AM #

Margaret Canada says:

I can understand the point of view of the priests, but they have to realize that it's quite expensive to host upwards of 1 million people at World Youth Days - from making sure there are water bottles for those attending, to other sponsored services and activities. If sponsors are working with organizers in a respectful manner and not distracting from the point of World Youth Days, then I see no problem with the issue. It's actually a smart way of blending spiritual life with everyday needs.

June 30, 2011 09:24 AM #

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