With more than a million pilgrims in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon is hoping for an economic boost. Pope Francis will celebrate a mass this Sunday, the closing day of this festival, which is celebrated amid controversies over sexual abuse scandals.
several tens of thousands of pilgrims They are already in Lisbon, in the JWorld Youth Day.
With the Pope Francis arrival todaymany more pilgrims are expected to gather in the Portuguese capital, for the mass that the pontiff himself will celebrate next Sunday.
Climate change, social justice and the war in Ukraine are some of the issues that concern the current pope, and could be one of the main issues to be dealt with by the pontiff.
Economic boost for Lisbon
With more than a million pilgrims in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon expects an economic boost for all sectorsfrom hotels to restaurants.
“We already made cookies with cartoon effigies for children, like Spiderman or Batman. And joking with the pastry chef, we thought why not do it with the Pope’s face? We used portraits of the Pope, many photographs,” says Fernando Santos, baker from the Balcao do Marques pastry shop.
Everyone wants to profit from the arrival of visitors.
“Everything will depend on the number of people who come to Lisbon. If the forecasts are correct, we believe that we can generate a few hundred million euros. It could be 300 million, 400 million, 500 million, or even a little more”, explains João Duque, economist, Director of ISEG.
Secularism and sexual abuse scandals
World Youth Day has been dubbed the “Catholic Woodstock” and is part of the Vatican’s efforts to unite young Catholics at a time when secularism and the scandals of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy have caused some faithful to abandon church.
During his visit, Pope Francis is expected to meet privately with victims of sexual abuse by members of the Portuguese clergy.
A report published in February by an independent commission revealed that at least 4,815 children were sexually abused by clergy members – mostly priests – since 1950.
The investigation, based on testimonies from more than 500 victims, concluded that the Portuguese church hierarchy “systematically” tried to hide the abuses.
Some have raised concerns about the event as Sunday is expected to be a very hot day, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius.