1.5 million euro bill for 24 papal hours in Paris

September 9, 2008

Altar for papal Mass being built outside Les Invalides, 9 Sept 2008/Tom HeneghanOne and a half million euros ($2.1 million) for 24 hours in Paris? No, we’re not talking about some luxury visit, but the stopover that Pope Benedict will make on Friday and Saturday on his way to the shrine at Lourdes. The pontiff apparently did not even plan to visit the capital on his first trip to France, meant to mark the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary there. But the city’s archbishop, Cardinal AndrĂ© Vingt-Trois, argued for a stop in the City of Light and Benedict agreed.

The Archdiocese of Paris has offered an interesting peek into the costs of a papal visit as part of a public appeal it made to Catholics to help foot the bill. The archdiocese expects to cover all costs without having to dip into its own funds. At a media briefing on Monday, it presented pie-charts (which the French call “camemberts”) breaking down projected expenditure and income. The costs for security, which must be considerable, are assumed by the state and not included in these totals.

On the cost side, the largest chunk of the 1.5 million euro budget — 52% — will go for 15 giant screens that will be set up along the left bank of the River Seine on Friday to show live broadcasts of the pope’s activities during the day. They will then be switched to the Espalanade des Invalides, a spacious green in western Paris, to transmit his Mass to the crowd of 200,000 expected there on Saturday morning.

Poster welcoming Pope Benedict (Benoit in French) to Paris/Archdiocese of ParisThe costs of the different liturgical celebrations — including new vestments and other equipment for the vespers in Notre Dame and the open-air Mass — will take up another 19% and logistical costs another 11%. Nine percent will go for the media centre at the Ecole Militaire and the final three percent for organisational costs.

What about those high Paris hotel prices? No problem — he’ll stay at the nunciature (Vatican embassy).

The faithful are expected to foot 72% of this bill in one way or another. Individual donations are due to cover 52% of the costs and the collection at the Mass should bring in another 20%. Private patrons shuld pay 15% of the total and commercial sponsors 10%. The last three percent should come from sales of souvenirs like the T-shirts advertised on the archdiocese’s website.


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too expensive if for luxury consumption,ha ha

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

“you have to spend money to make money” and we all know that is the job of “the chuch” to make money…

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

And how exactly is this helping the poor, or anyone else?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

At least no public money is involved.

In Italy all the expenses for the Pope’s visits are covered by tax payers.
Last week the Pope went to Sardinia, he stayed there for just 10 hours, the cost was 1.4 million euros.

Posted by RazioCigno | Report as abusive