The personal blessing of the Pope is big business in Rome. This parchment (which exists in many variations) contains a blessing and the photo of the Pope. Shops around the Vatican City are selling more than 20 thousand of them per month!
For years The Vatican City tolerated the merchandise in the papal blessings. Shops were donating a small amount to the chaplain for each copy sold. But since January 1, that is over: the Vatican City now prohibits the selling of the blessings. And this has major implications for retailers because they lose a third of their turnover.
The Vatican City expects to gather several hundred thousands euro’s extra for the chaplain by taking the papal blessings into their own hands. And this is of course not unlogical: the Pope is popular and that popularity is to be cashed. Especially as charities such as chaplains cost money.
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