Pope Francis is a hot ticket in Philadelphia.
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis is a hot ticket in Philadelphia.

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A Catholic group offers 10,000 tickets online to see Pope Francis celebrate Mass in Philadelphia

Despite restrictions of four per person, the tickets were gone within 30 seconds

Within two hours, people were offering the tickets for sale on eBay for hundreds of dollars

CNN —  

Thirty seconds.

That’s how long it took for all 10,000 tickets to watch Pope Francis celebrate Mass later this month in Philadelphia to be taken, an apparent indicator of the excitement over his first visit as pontiff to the United States.

The tickets were made available online at 8 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to those behind the World Meeting of Families, the event that is a chief focus of the Pope’s visit and is affiliated with the Philadelphia archdiocese. And people couldn’t pick up more than four tickets at a time.

Even with that restriction, the tickets to the 4 p.m. Mass on Sunday, September 27, at Eakins Oval along Benjamin Franklin Parkway were gone within 30 seconds, the same organization said.

These tickets were free. That didn’t stop people from trying to take advantage. Within two hours of when they went on sale, eBay already had a host of people hawking individual tickets for from $99.99 up to $450.

Such blatant capitalism appears at odds with the Pope’s railings the “unfettered pursuit” of money,” which he called “the devil’s dung” while touring South America in July.

But it’s not the only example surrounding the Pope’s much hyped American tour.

Several hundred people this month took to eBay and Craigslist trying to sell train tickets for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia for up to $40, or four times their face value.

And Airbnb is buzzing with people offering their homes for Francis’ visit, including one for a 2-bedroom condo for $7,000 a night.

CNN’s Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.