Several Irish citizens have organized a protest campaign, "Say Nope to the Pope," against Pope Francis's visit to Ireland. The campaign suggests participants claim as many of the the free, government-sponsored tickets for Francis' public mass in the country and then not show up, letting the empty seats serve as a peaceful protest.
The organizers explain that although not all Irish taxpayers are Catholic, the state still uses taxpayers' money to give all citizens free tickets. Since they're paying for the tickets, organizers say, taxpayers ought to claim them. "The taxpayer was funding this visit regardless of their faith, and that was the icing on the cake for many," Michael Stewart, one of the organizers, said.
The latest revelations about misconduct by priests and large-scale coverups by the church are also good reason to boycott the event, Say Nope to the Pope organizers say.
Pope Francis has condemned the misconduct by US priests and urged parishes to acknowledge the crimes instead of covering them up.