January 2, 2014

Soaring attendance at Vatican events since Francis’ election

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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) Some 735,000 people attended Vatican events during each of the nine months of Pope Francis' papacy, according to information released Thursday by the Holy See. It's the highest average recorded in recent years.

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  • Earold Gunter

    I’m liking what Francis is saying about a lot of things, which undoubtedly is bringing some of those back to the flock who had grown weary of leadership focused primarily just on doctrine. The “Francis Effect” though may work pretty good to attract those sheep who were just on the outskirts of the flock, however for those who are farther out, and for the rest of us who never were, this glamor will eventually wear off, and perhaps very soon. The fact he still has not addressed the 800 pound elephant in the room, or perhaps less metaphorically, the 180 pound pedophile raping the child in the back room of the rectory, will be a huge issue. His luster will fade before long unless he publicly and profoundly takes this issue on, honestly. If he does not, he will merely be a “flash in the pan” celebrity Pope whose ultimate legacy will be that he did nothing about this.

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