Pope Francis on Wednesday warned Catholics against “scammers” trying to sell tickets to his weekly general audience, the Vatican said in a statement.
“One does not have to pay for access to the audience,” the leader of the Catholic Church said.
Francis said: “You need tickets to attend the audience, and on these tickets it says in one, two, three, four, five and six languages that the ticket is entirely free of charge.
“But it has come to my attention that there are some smooth operators who charge for the tickets.
“If anyone says you must pay to attend the audience with the pope, it’s a scam and if anyone gets paid to let you into the audience, they are committing a crime.”
Francis explained admission was free because the 6,300-seat Paul VI Audience Hall, where he conducts his weekly general audience, was everyone’s home.
The Wednesday morning audience is sometimes held in St Peter’s Square and is usually attended by thousands of faithful from Italy and around the world.
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