Sale of cigarettes banned in Vatican City

Papal spokesman: "The Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people”

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the Basilica of St. Mary Major October 12, 2017. (Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA.)

In a move likely to have some Vatican employees fuming, Pope Francis has decided to ban the sale of cigarettes inside the City State on the grounds that the Holy See cannot profit from a proven health hazard.

In a Nov. 9 statement, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the reason for the decision “is very simple: the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people.”

Available for sale exclusively at “Palazzo della Stazione,” the building that sits in front of the Vatican’s small train station, the cigarettes have until now been sold at a lower price than in tobacco stores around Rome, making it an ideal place for smokers holding a Vatican employee card to pick up their next pack.

However, citing numbers from the World Health Organization, Burke noted how each year some 7 million people throughout the world die due to smoking-related causes.

Despite the fact the cigarettes sold to Vatican employees and pensioners have been a source of revenue for the Holy See, “no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk,” Burke said.

While Pope Francis himself doesn’t smoke, the habit is practically considered a national vice in Italy, and many even within the Vatican can be found to have a pack or two on hand.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

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  1. William of Baskerville says:

    So while Catholic News Agency is focusing on shiny-objects like this story, recently (Oct. 29th, ’17) respected Vatican insider Edward Pentin gave a remarkable talk on the present state of Vatican operations under P Francis:

    https://the-american-catholic.com/2017/11/06/popewatch-edward-pentin/

    The 45 min video describes many things: how PF has a firm Argentine grip on all communication in the Vatican, apparently allowing some of his lieutenants to eavesdrop on cell phone conversations, using the Vatican’s police agency capacities; or, Card. Beniamino Stella, prefect of the clergy, is known to obtain immediately the file on any diocesan priest or bishop in the world and any report on negative talk against PF, among other central…

    • This was a conference held by The Remnant, who at one time declared Saint John Paul II the worst pope in history.

      • William of Baskerville says:

        Standard to “distract and attack” in this case, the “source”: but the source isn’t The Remnant, but Edward Pentin, a world-respected Vatican writer and chronicler.

        For other people who want to know how bad the situation is in the Vatican, listen to Pentin’s talk. It is stunning. (Anonymous, just go back on the attack.)

  2. I completely support the Pope’s action. The Church has no business selling cigarettes- also known as coffin nails!

  3. Ivy League says:

    I think I’d be focussing more on the drug-fuelled gay sex orgies!

  4. helen wheels says:

    Holy Smokes !!!

  5. When he was a Cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI was known to enjoy a cigarette every now and then. Reportedly, he preferred American cigarettes: Marlboro and Winstons. Pope Francis is making a morally appropriate and healthy decision in discontinuing the sale of cigarettes at the Vatican.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Ralph– Very discouraging, to hear this! A priest or prelate needs to set a fine example, for the Catholic Faithful, and that includes refraining from vices like smoking– and encouraging and praying for all of his Catholics, to likewise refrain from all unhealthy vices, to include smoking! And when a parishioner visits the rectory, to talk to a priest– he or she, along with their children– should have a clean, safe, healthy environment — with clean and healthy air to breathe!

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