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State refuses to confirm Pope visit compensation




  The gigantic altar at the place where Pope Francis will give the closing mass in the Phoenix Park. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie
The gigantic altar at the place where Pope Francis will give the closing mass in the Phoenix Park. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

  Dearbhail McDonald

The government has withdrawn from claims that the Catholic Church endorses the costs associated with and the possible shortage of fundraising as a result of a historic visit to Ireland by Pope Francis.

Security and related costs, mostly associated with a papal mass attended by 500,000 in Phoenix Park, could amount to € 32 million according to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The World Meeting Of Families (WMoF), a registered charity that raises money for a three-day conference and the visit of Pope Francis, says it has reached € 15 million of a target fundraising of € 21 million.

The prospect of indemnity was suggested by publisher and philantropist Norah Casey, a member of the WMoF fundraising committee who told RTE last week that the hierarchy subscribes to the visit.

"There is no doubt that the Pope who comes to Ireland is not endorsed by the Church in Ireland," Casey said. "It is and that is how it works all over the world."

The ministry of An Taoiseach said that the state's involvement in the visit is appropriate for an official visit by a head of state, adding that any issue related to an indemnification and Casey's remarks were a matter of WMoF.

The charity refused to clarify Casey's comments, adding that it will not issue further details on costs and expenses until after the event.

Sunday Indo Business



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