Bishops will host an additional national collection to alleviate remaining papal visit costs via donation baskets
Irish bishops will be hosting an additional national collection in November to help pay off remaining costs from Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland in August.
In correspondence obtained by The Journal, Bishop Kevin Doran said that the Irish Catholics Bishops’ Conference has decided to have an additional national collection on November 10 and 11 “to help defray the deficit” of the papal visit.
In August, Pope Francis visited Ireland as part of the World Meeting of Families. His 36-hour visit took to him to Croke Park and Phoenix Park in Co Dublin, and Knock in Co Mayo.
The total cost of the visit was around €19.4 million, which was “significantly under budget thanks to good financial management” according to Bishop Kevin Doran.
However, the Irish Catholic Church has a remaining deficit “in the region of €4 million.”
The correspondence from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference places some blame for the deficit on negative press surrounding the papal visit.
“Unfortunately,” the correspondence said, “in spite of a very successful effort, there was also a shortfall in fundraising income, due in no small measure to the consistent negative coverage in the media in the final weeks of the preparation.”
“Some ‘fruit’ died on the ‘trees,’” said Bishop Doran. “The result is a deficit, which has to be covered by the Irish Church.”
If the deficit is not paid, it will fall on individual dioceses in proportional amounts.
“I would ask you to support this collection to the best of your ability,” said Bishop Doran, “as every penny that comes in will be a reduction in the amount that we will eventually have to pay from reserves.”
Do you think Mass-goers should have to help pay the bill for the papal visit? Let us know in the comments.