The Vatican is set to open a dedicated office in Beverly Hills to cope with the rising number of Hollywood stars requesting audiences with Pope Francis.
Monday’s announcement comes amid a wave of A-list Papal visits, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Chevy Chase having recently journeyed to Italy to meet with the leader of the Catholic Church.
Once fully operational in the summer, the Vatican’s LA outpost will fast-track applications while also offering quicker and more affordable options, such live video linkups, for filmmakers on tighter constraints. Pope Francis himself is expected to drop by the facility to conduct back-to-back celebrity meet and greets when not in the Vatican City.
“Given the current backlog of Hollywood names hoping to meet Francis and with an audience increasingly becoming an essential pit-stop in any film’s marketing campaign, opening up an LA office was a no-brainer,” said a source at the Vatican, adding that they expected to welcome “up to 50 Pope visits” a day.
“Sadly we can’t actually charge them for the audience because of some holy scripture or something, but we’re planning to sting them with the extortionate coffee prices in the cafe and in the gift shop afterwards.”