Facebook’s ‘Say Nope to the Pope’ campaign

A ‘Say Nope to the Pope’ Facebook page is encouraging people to protest against Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland in August.

The campaign aims to ensure a low turnout at planned events at the triennial World Meeting of Families.

So far over 1,000 people have clicked “attending” the protest and another 4,000 say they are “interested”.

The protest campaign suggests people book and discard tickets for events planned for the papal visit. All the tickets are free of charge.

A Facebook posting on the Say Nope page says “you can book as many times as you like [to papal events] on the same email address.”

The person writing the post says they’d booked 108 tickets, having logged in to make bookings for 12 people on nine occasions. The booking limit is 12 per family or group.

“They all have different booking references, so they are working,” the post says.

Another person who says he will not be attending a Mass in Phoenix Park says he took 800 tickets when bookings opened on Monday.

Jonathan Keane says he used different names and email addresses to ensure each booking was made separately. He booked one batch under the name “Jesus Christ”.

“What made me get involved, I suppose, is that I’m really interested in history, especially the history of and effects that the Catholic Church have in Ireland – and whether you go back 900 years ago, or a month ago, you can see it.

“It’s all negative stuff, scandal after scandal, and I just thought the idea of a peaceful protest was a brilliant peaceful way of saying no to the Pope.”

Keane says many people reported on Facebook that they’d secured 60 of the free tickets, which they won’t be using.

In his opinion, it’s likely that “easily thousands” of tickets had been booked by Facebook protesters.

By 5pm on Monday, just over half the 500,000 tickets for the Phoenix Park Mass had been booked.

In addition, all 45,000 tickets for Francis’s visit to Knock shrine have been booked, as have the 70,000 tickets for a series of events at the Royal Dublin Society.

The Facebook page organisers have been criticised online for taking up tickets that other members of the public who want to attend the events might miss out on.

One wrote: “Actively stopping people attending this event is wrong.

“Go down there when it’s on and try to have some respectful discourse with people entering if you want to make a real difference.

“Removing someone’s choice because you disagree with them is wrong.”







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