On September 25, Pope Francis will travel through Central Park to meet New York’s faithful. In preparation, New Yorkers are doing what they do best: trying to fleece each other out of a few bucks. Enterprising scalpers jockeying for their place in Hell reserved free papal visit tickets and are now trying to sell them for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The tickets are all over Craigslist and, until earlier today, eBay. You actually have to sort of admire the gumption of these Christ-loving scalpers, one of whom will prayerfully consider accepting a job in exchange for these tickets:
And another who, in the spirit of Christian fellowship, would like $500 but is willing to haggle:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan and various New York City and state officials are not amused, condemning the scalpers and, in Dolan’s case, probably secretly putting in a bad word to Jesus. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said they’re working with the federal government to have the tickets taken down, and State Senator Daniel Squadron called it “disappointing” that anyone would exploit the Pope’s visit. Sure, but surprising? Nah.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, though, seems to have anticipated New Yorkers’ fondness for working an angle, urging people back in July to only accept tickets from not-Craigslist, because some of those are probably fake:
The pope hasn’t commented publicly on this unholy scheme. And remember to buy your papal merchandise only from his official store, where you can get various solemn tokens that venerate this century’s most beloved Pope with the appropriate respect.
Pope Francis greets the faithful at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, September 12, 2015. Photo via AP Images