Skip to comments.Pope Francis draws crowds 4 times larger than Benedict
Posted on 12/21/2013 8:58:16 AM PST by MarkBsnr
More than two million people have flocked to Pope Francis' general audiences in St. Peter's Square since his election in March, four times the number that Pope Benedict drew in all of 2012.
The Vatican said on Wednesday it had issued 1,548,500 tickets for the 30 Wednesday general audiences Francis has held since his election on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.
But it said the actual number was "much larger" because no tickets are needed for the rear section of the square and surrounding streets, which accommodate overflow. That area, which fits at least 20,000, is regularly filled during Francis' audiences.
The Vatican did not issue comparative figures on Wednesday but figures released on Jan. 4 showed that 447,000 tickets were issued for the 43 general audiences held by former Pope Benedict in all of 2012.
The pope, who last week was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, has drawn people to the Vatican because of his outgoing, simple and friendly style. Benedict was more reserved and far less spontaneous.
Francis has forsaken many of the trappings used by his predecessors. He has given up the spacious papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace for a small apartment in a guest house and is driven in a regular car instead of the papal limousine.
Francis has also proven to be hugely popular because of his statements urging the Church to be closer to the poor and to be more merciful and less condemning. The crowds at Francis' general audiences have often topped 100,000, forcing police to close off the main boulevard leading to the Vatican to accommodate more people.
The Vatican newspaper said Francis telephoned Benedict to exchange Christmas greetings. Benedict is living in a former convent on the Vatican grounds and has the title Pope Emeritus. Tickets to audiences and all other papal events are issued for free by the Vatican's Prefecture of the Pontifical Household and usually distributed through parishes and Church institutions.
God has blessed us three times in a row - each one more than the last.
Social Gospel is popular with the masses.
Is there a Nielsen rating for popes?
What a stupid headline. The Pope’s value is not in crowds.
The people worshipped the golden calf and chose Barabbas over Jesus Christ.
After all, Jesus is for everybody; that is all sinners. He instructed his disciples to go and spread the Good News and heal the sick. They are to do this without the pompous regalia, but the supports from the people (I am using Luke 9:1-6 example).
This is the best Pope the Catholics ever had. So proud to be Catholic!!!!!
Pope Benedict was a blessing. Pope Francis is the result of a curse.
I’ve tried to be Catholic, really I have.
Although I was not raised Catholic, my wife was. I nonetheless have read Aquinas, Augustine, More, Maritain, Chesterton, Belloc.
Neither my wife no I trust any religious institution.
If there are lifeboats in this flood, I have yet to find one.
And the prophets and biblical scribes warned us thousands of years ago.
We have the pop star president and now the pop star pope. It’s hip to be marxist.
We learn in many ways.
The Pope is not Marxist.
He’s a Jesuit; same thing.
He speaks in words that resonate of populism and class warfare. I do not doubt for a moment that he is a humble man and a man of faith, but I do not like nor do I think it is constructive to condemn capitalism when it is the non-capitalist political systems that have caused most of the world’s ills—communism, socialism, fascism, etc. His statements are confusing. To say that the world’s greatest wrong is the lack of opportunities for youth and the loneliness of the elderly is just not accurate. Are they wrong? Yes, absolutely. However, the greatest moral wrongs of our age are the growing secularism of society including the rise of moral relativism. Benedict XVI nailed this on the head, and there was no confusion about what he meant. We live in a world, and a country, that accepts euthanasia, abortion, class warfare, homosexuality, and a blatant lack of respect for human life and for self. These are the issues that I would like the Pope to speak about. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were very concise in calling evil out for what it is. I am not so sure about Francis.
No, it is NOT. (Fr. James Schall comes to mind ....as well as many others.)
PS Generalizations are not logical.
He didn’t *condemn* capitalism.