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Pope to bail out World Youth Day debt

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis has dug into his own resources to help defray the debt run up by the archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro in paying for the cost of staging World Youth Day in 2013.

CWN reported on January 6 that the archdiocese is looking down the barrel of a US$20 million ($155 million) debt and after running a public campaign managed to decrease it by US$2.6 million ($20.2 million), which still leaves a sizeable hunk hanging around the necks of diocesan officials.

However, Pope Francis has come to the party and put in US$5 million ($38.8 million) to help out the beleaguered coffers of the host archdiocese.

Hosting a World Youth Day is an expensive undertaking and most places do not take it on unless they are guaranteed government funding. However, public anger in Brazil over public money being spent on infrastructure for the World Cup and the Olympic Games, left World Youth Day the poor cousin in the equation.

Governments are usually quick to put in and take on some of the costs for World Youth Day as the general economy, as well as the government benefits from the large influx of tourists.


However, CNS reported that in the case of Rio de Janeiro, the government contribution was limited to providing security and public services for various events.

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