Vatican warns of ticket scams ahead of John Paul II beatification

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The Vatican has warned against ticket scams and unscrupulous hoteliers as Catholic pilgrims begin the countdown to the beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome on May 1.

At least one million pilgrims are expected to begin arriving as early as Easter to mark the beatification, the final step before the "blessed" is officially declared a saint.

The Vatican has released a detailed schedule of events for the beatification and warned against people selling counterfeit tickets to the beatification ceremony, which is free and open to all.

In March an American tour guide was accused of promoting an internet sales scam in which unsuspecting pilgrims were charged around £150 for a false ticket granting them access to the free ceremony to be held in St. Peter's Square.

Vatican officials have also sought an "ethical pact" with the Rome hoteliers association in which members promised not to raise prices for the events....

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