3,500 fake Vatican parchments seized by the Italian Security
The Security higher alertness was not meant just to check and prevent all intended attacks promised by the ISIS terrorist group but to also check the dignity and integrity of the Vatican and it’s people, as expressed by Archbishop Renato Fisichella, the Holy Year of Mercy Jubilee’s chief organizer.
The Vatican security in collaboration with the Italian Police arrested fraudulent merchants and seized from them about 3, 500 parchment item they sell to unsuspecting pilgrims at a souvenir shop near the St. Peter Basilica Square of Rome. The Seized Parchments were valued to have worthed about seventy-six thousand euros (£76, 000).
The parchments were knock-offs of the calligraphy-filled, personalized Apostolic Blessing parchments that are sold inside the Vatican by Francis’ chief alms-giver to fund the pope’s charitable efforts. The parchments are valued keepsakes, commemorating births, marriages and in this case, Holy Year pilgrimages.
Pilgrims at the Vatican have although long before hand been warned by Archbishop Fisichella to watch out for people who will try to defraud them by selling fake items or tickets for events that are meant to be for free.
“It’s not just about security for fear of ISIS. There has to be security to watch out for people’s dignity,” he added.
Italian media has attributed the relatively low number of pilgrims to security fears. But Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday the low turnout was due more to the fact that Francis all along intended the Holy Year of Mercy to be celebrated locally, not necessarily in Rome.