Poverty-stricken Catholics dig deep for billionaire Pope’s visit

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Roman Catholic churchgoers in the UK are being urged to help meet a shortfall of more than £3m in funding for the visit of the head of their billion-dollar organisation, Pope Benedict.

The Church asked them to put at least £1m in Sunday’s collection – largely to pay for three big open air masses at which the Pope will preside, as only half of the cost of the visit is being covered by the taxpayer.

We sent our reporters onto the street to find out what you thought about the cost of the Pope’s visit, and who was being asked to pay for it.

Woman on the Street“I’m cool with it to be honest. If we can use taxes to pay for schools, roads and hospitals, then I see no reason why we shouldn’t spend it on hospitality for a Voodoo king.”

Jane Meadows, Butcher

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Man on the Street“I started a church in my garden shed a few days ago – I call it ‘Amazingology’. I don’t suppose you happen to know which Government department I should write to in order to secure the appropriate funding for my national tour?”

Ted Heath, High Priest

Man on the Street“I’m not surprised.  I hear things are pretty tight in the church right now.  Buying the silence of tens of thousands of altar boys isn’t cheap you know.”

Bob Cratchett, Pall Bearer

Man on the Street“Three million quid just so I can listen to an elderly German dude in a purple frock tell me how my current lifestyle will condemn me to eternal suffering in a burning Hell?  Seems like a pretty good deal to me.”

James Nesbitt,