Pope Benedict XVI’s March 23-26 visit to Mexico should serve to inspire unity and people should not be charged to attend papal events, Leon Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago said.
Pope Benedict is scheduled to spend the night at Leon’s Colegio Miraflores during his visit to Mexico.
Leon Mayor Ricardo Sheffield Padilla plans to set up bleachers along the Popemobile’s route and charge people for preferred seating in an effort to recoup some of the costs associated with the papal visit.
“It would be preferable to not set up bleachers so people can go to the places where the pope is going to pass without the need to pay anything, that was the idea, that’s what we are all trying to do, and I believe that’s worth it and should be respected,” Martin Rabago said in a press conference Sunday.
The archbishop, however, endorsed local officials’ plans to charge $7 in the areas where foreign visitors are going to be camping out since services will be provided to the pilgrims.
No details have been released on the route to be taken by the pope during his visit and officials have not said how many volunteers have been recruited to form the human walls along the route.
The Catholic Church has called for at least 75,000 young people to serve as volunteers in support tasks.
Benedict XVI will celebrate an open-air Mass in the morning on March 25 at Silao’s Guanajuato Bicentenario Park, but officials have not said how many tickets will be distributed for the religious service.
“Although the number of tickets has been almost fully determined, adjustments are still being made. The platforms at the site of the celebration are being adjusted and the engineers and architects have to take the exact measurements to decide the exact number of tickets,” the archbishop said.
The outdoor venue will accommodate about 750,000 people, who will need a ticket to enter, officials said.
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit three cities in Guanajuato state during his time in Mexico and will continue on to Santiago, Cuba.