In 2015 Significantly Fewer People Wanted to See the Pope
The total number of participants at papal events declined over the previous year from 5.9 to 3.2 million.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Vatican City (kath.net/ KAP) In his third year in office, Pope Francis has apparently lost much of his appeal to visitors: 2015 halved the total number of participants at papal events at the Vatican over the previous year from 5.9 to 3.2 million people. This emerges from participant statistics for 2015, published the Vatican on Wednesday. In his first year in office in 2013, approximately 6.6 million participants were registered at his election in March to December.
According to the statistics of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household in 2015 a total of nearly 1.6 million people came to the Angelus prayer with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square, 700,000 attended the General Audiences and another 500,000 who attend Mass with the Pope. Francis received 400,000 people in special audiences in the Vatican. The foreign trips of the Pope and his visits to the diocese of Rome are not included in the statistics.
Francis approaches thus the number of participants for events in papal pontificate of Benedict XVI. in his last year in office in 2012, with 2.35 million people coming to the audiences, Angelus prayers and Masses. For a general audience the Pope averaged in 2015 almost 17,000 people. The highest number of participants were reported at a total of 120,000 people General Audiences in October, when the Synod of Bishops in Rome met.
The statistics are based on estimates, the Vatican has said. For access to the St. Peter’s Square or in the Paul VI Audience Hall entrance cards are required for general audiences, which are issued free of charge. The people who follow the General Audiences from the areas outside St. Peter’s Square are not statistically recorded. Participation in the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square is not regulated.