The Pope’s 21 June 2018 visit to Geneva is expected to cost CHF 2.2 million, according to RTS.
These costs, which are spread over the rental of the venue and security, must be covered by the host diocese. Given the Vatican’s late announcement of the visit (in March 2018), local church leaders were not given much time to find this extra money.
So far, the dioceses of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg have only managed to pull together CHF 300,000 of the total, with expectations of a further million via donations, according to the broadcaster. A shortfall of CHF 1 million is real possibility.
In early June, the church launched an appeal for donations.
With an expected turnout of around 40,000, the cost comes out at CHF 55 francs a head. Not too much for some, but quite a lot for others.
What would have the Pope’s namesake Francis of Assisi, who venerated poverty, have thought?