Cost of Papal Visit? Philly Says Taxpayers on Hook for $8M

For Philadelphians who shrugged their shoulders at the inconveniences the papal visit caused and maintained a positive view on the attention the historic event brought the city, the notice from officials that taxpayers will foot $8 million of the total $17 million cost of Pope Francis' visit may change their outlook.

Mayor Michael Nutter reportedly said Wednesday the city always expected to pay for the cost of the events leading up to and following Pope Francis' two-day visit to Philadelphia, something the city does for any major event.

So far, the World Meeting of Families has paid Philadelphia $5.2 million, according to a report. Another invoice sent Wednesday seeks an additional $3.4 million from WMOF to be paid within 30 days, upping the total reimbursement to the city to $9 million, or just over half of the total cost.

But the latest comments differ from the message Nutter and World Meeting of Families leaders said before, during and immediately after the event – including an earlier comment from Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, that WMOF would be responsible for "all costs." Read more about the cost of the papal visit on

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