Manila, Philippines — The papal nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, has asked the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to warn the public about the unauthorized sale of tickets to Masses and events during Pope Francis' visit to the country next year.
In a letter addressed to bishops' conference president Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pinto talked of the "unpleasant information" the nunciature has received about groups who might wish "to take advantage of the papal visit to exploit innocent people and enrich themselves."
Expressing regret in his letter, dated July 8, he called on Villegas to "announce to the Filipino people that no tickets will be sold for any of the papal gatherings."
He also suggested that the bishops' conference use all possible channels to inform the public and "persuade people to desist from purchasing such tickets."
The bishops' conference has announced that Francis will be coming to the Philippines in January, wishing especially to visit survivors in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Visayas.
To inform the public of the latest news about the church and the upcoming papal visit, the bishops' conference's media office also launched an app that will be available for download for Android phones and at the iPhone app store in August.