The Roman Catholic Church in southern New Mexico have warned the public not to buy fake tickets to see Pope Francis as “round trip” tours on Facebook are being sold for up to $900.
The Diocese of the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez is the only official distributor of tickets for the Papal masses during the Pope’s six-day tour yet offers to buy tickets and package tours are circulating on social media.
Tickets for a “round trip” to see the Pope on 15 February are being sold on Facebook for $900 and for $650 on 13 February on but officials say the passes are free and are not available for the public to purchase.
The Diocese of Ciudad Juarez will distribute tickets via local parishes who will organize their own system for people to get tickets.
Officer of Hispanic Ministry Alejandr Barraza at the Diocese of Las Cruces said he had heard that people are selling fake tickets.
“Yes - people will try to make a buck any way they can,” he said.
“The Pope’s journey from the airport into Ciudad Juarez is 40 kilometers and we are working with the local government to put up viewing screens, so there is a chance you can see him by standing on the street,” he added.
Mr Barraza also disputed claims that events might be cancelled near the US-Mexican border due to security fears.
“There will be enhanced security and in my experience they have been very efficient,” he said.
People who want to experience the Mass in the US could see Pope Francis at El Paso's football university stadium, the Sun Bowl. The tickets will be “low cost” and are not available yet.
“It’s a massive event - I believe around 52,000 people will be attending,” Mr Barraza said. “We also invite parishes to organize their own events with screening of the Papal masses.”