N.Y. officials condemn scalping of pope tickets

- Rick Hampson

It may be like trying to stop water from running downhill, but New York lawmakers — upset that scalpers are trying to sell tickets to see Pope Francis’ motorcade during his visit to New York City on Sept. 25 — want to crack down on resales.

About 80,000 tickets were dispersed through a city-led lottery for the pope’s procession through Central Park.

Tickets were being sold on secondary markets such as eBay and Craigslist for hundreds and, in a few cases, thousands of dollars soon after lottery winners were notified.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, says the tickets were free for a reason: to give as many people as possible the chance to join in the pope’s visit, including those with “modest means.” He says scalping them “goes against everything Pope Francis stands for.”

Since taking office, Pope Francis has talked of creating “a church for the poor” and has consistent­ly emphasized his concern for the socially and economical­ly marginaliz­ed. State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblyma­n Michael Cusick have urged bans on ticket resales for non-profit events.

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