Should we fund the visit of the Pope?

Published On September 5, 2010 » 1785 Views» Politics

The UK tax payer is being asked to stump up £12m for the Pope to visit for 4 days.

I’m not Catholic, but 4.2 million people in  the UK are`, so I am assuming that they will get something out of it.  But what?

In my ignorance, I am failing to see why we should  pay £3M per day, for the visit.

I think there are many state visits that we should have, especially by leaders of influential countries or countries we want to influence, but what can we get from the Vatican city, or what would we want to influence?

The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who is the head of the catholic Church in the UK thinks Tax payers should fund it, but a poll by Theos says that 79% of people had no interest and 77% did not want tax payers to fund it.

In this time of austerity, what could we do better with £12m?

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5 Responses to Should we fund the visit of the Pope?

  1. matthaslam says:

    In a word, NO.

    £12M is the same as 600 public sector employees for a whole year (if you take a £20K salary).

    In the grand scheme of things (and the Church would claim to have a close relationship with that issue!) £12M isn’t that much, but it’s a particularly insensitive time to be spending this kind of money on a papal visit. Maybe it would be good to ask all of the public sector employees who are about to loose their jobs / have already lost their jobs, about this. I might be a bit biased on that, given i’m in the public sector!

    I would imagine though that things such as security would be rather a large expense. Anyway, given it’s going ahead, I hope the resident and world-wide population of Catholics gets something out of it.

  2. Hayley says:

    Sorry but NO !!

    I believe the catholic church is rich enough to fund its own trip, and that the U.K would benefit 12m on more needy causes.

  3. Eddie says:

    I agree with you 100% . We should not be paying for a religious visit.

  4. bazkirby says:

    There is the argument that he is a Head of State, and we should accord him the same as we would any other, but I’m not convinced.

    I would love to know how a UK Catholic feels about this?

  5. James says:

    You wanted a Catholic perspective…

    “The UK tax payer is being asked to stump up £12m for the Pope to visit for 4 days.”

    1. Tax payers weren’t asked.

    The Pope has been invited by the Head of State.

    Forgive me for playing the devil’s advocate – I am a UK tax payer but I wasn’t asked to stump up funds for imperial adventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    “I’m not Catholic, but 4.2 million people in the UK are`, so I am assuming that they will get something out of it.”

    2. Your assumption is correct.

    “But what?”

    3. Have you asked any Catholics?

    Here is the theme for 2010: http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/2010-Visit/Cor-ad-Cor-Loquitur-Heart-Speaks-unto-Heart

    “In my ignorance, I am failing to see why we should pay £3M per day, for the visit.”

    4. Would reference to my rudimentary Cost Benefit Analysis (below) and an answer to 3. (above) help you see?

    “I think there are many state visits that we should have, especially by leaders of influential countries or countries we want to influence, but what can we get from the Vatican city, or what would we want to influence?”

    5. I quite agree, especially if it helps to lift people out of poverty in Britain and overseas.

    The Head of the Vatican State and the spiritual leader of 1.5 billion adherents may suggest there is everything to gain.

    CBA:

    The host cities of Westminster, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow welcome the Pope’s arrival as it will provide a boost to their local and regional economies. 400,000 visitor movements multiplied by their combined expenditure equals a handsome pay day from HM Treasury via VAT receipts.

    Q. What do YOU want to influence?

    “The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who is the head of the catholic Church in the UK thinks Tax payers should fund it, but a poll by Theos says that 79% of people had no interest and 77% did not want tax payers to fund it.”

    6. You have selected a small piece from a surprisingly balanced article (BBC is noted for its institutional bias against Christianity).

    Most tellingly, eleven out of twelve elements that make up Catholic social teaching are supported by those surveyed.

    “In this time of austerity, what could we do better with £12m?”

    7. Refer to my Cost Benefit Analysis in 5. (above).

    On a more political note, “austerity” is a Conservative Party smokescreen for savage cuts in Public Services.

    This fits in with its own ‘theology’ if you will.

    Evidently, this also feeds into the views of the disengaged, the agnostic, atheist, secular etc.

    Love, Peace and Justice to all,

    James.

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