Spanish Priests Object to Papal Visit Sponsors


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.[more]

“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.