Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blessed Are The Profit-Makers

Just two months to go before Pope Force One touches down in León, and all of Mexico is consumed by Papal Fever! Ha - just kidding. No one really seems to give a shit. But since no one's figured out a polite way to ask His Popeliness to stay home, the nation's really just trying to make the best of it. And really, seeing a pope in person isn't the worst way to spend an afternoon - hell, even we did it once.

Of course, to see the pope in person you need a ticket - a crowd-control measure so commonsensical, we're astonished Mexico thought of it.  But because the pope's whole schtick is the spiritual, not the material world, no one was gonna make a buck off this.  Within a week of the announcement of the visit, the Archibishop of Guanajuato was adamant: "Tickets for the papal mass are free." A week later, the governor weighed in: "Tickets will not be sold for the papal visit."

But then, wouldn't ya know it, a couple days later the head of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico is in the paper complaining of the lack of money for the papal tour. Apparently, these things are really expensive, and the guy with the golden-threaded vestments doesn't pick up the tab.

Which brings us to the latest headline: "Mayor of León plans to charge to see Benedict XVI."  So forget about that whole "ticker are free" thing.

Of course, this is Mexico, where everything is for sale, whether the seller has any right to sell it or not, so we can look forward to a vigorous trade in scalped pope tickets.  Oh, come on, you say.  The papal visit will be absolutely crawling with security.  No one will be able to scalp tickets out on the street.  For this, we would refer you to last week's home game for the Querétaro White Cocks.  You don't need to understand Spanish to get what's going on.

The only thing we would add is that, unlike in Guanjuato, Querétaro's police are generally considered among the least corrupt in the country. So the pope's visit has become an occasion for public officials of all stripes to make a quick buck. No wonder Querétaro was fighting so hard to host this thing. Monday Update: The Papal Nuncio in Mexico - obviously a regular reader of this blog - offers the following comment on the mayor's plan to charge admission to see the pope: "The fuck you are!" (We're paraphrasing, but he's not happy.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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