November 11, 2013

Rise in Italian Catholic Church attendance attributed to ‘Francis effect’

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Pope Francis greets people during a meeting with UNITALSI, an Italian Catholic association for the transportation of sick people to Lourdes and other Marian shrines, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican on Saturday (Nov. 9). Photo by Alessia Giuliani, courtesy Catholic News Service

Pope Francis greets people during a meeting with UNITALSI, an Italian Catholic association for the transportation of sick people to Lourdes and other Marian shrines, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican on Saturday (Nov. 9). Photo by Alessia Giuliani, courtesy Catholic News Service

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ROME (RNS) Italy's Center for Studies on New Religions reported Sunday (Nov. 10) that around half of the 250 priests it surveyed reported a significant rise in church attendance since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis in March.