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Montevideo, January 20th 2022 - 19:08 UTC



Record breaking Pope: Francis drew more than 6.6 million people to his audiences

Friday, January 3rd 2014 - 00:24 UTC
Full article 7 comments
The Argentine born pope called for the world to unite against violence as a “community of brothers”. The Argentine born pope called for the world to unite against violence as a “community of brothers”.

Pope Francis drew more than 6.6 million people to his audiences, Masses and other events in Vatican City during his first year in office, figures show. The statistics cover the period from the Argentine's election in March to the end of 2013, the Vatican said.

 His predecessor, Pope Benedict XIV, attracted just 2.3 million people for the whole of 2012.

Pope Francis, named Person of the Year by Time magazine, is the Roman Catholic Church's first Latin American leader. He is also the first Jesuit at the helm of the Church.

The Vatican said the new figures were based on the number of tickets issued for papal events, as well as on estimates of crowds attending his weekly appearances at St Peter's Square.

The data was released a day after the pontiff gave his first New Year blessing, calling for the world to unite against violence as a “community of brothers”.

Addressing pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis departed from his prepared text to vent frustration at the level of conflict in the world.

“What is happening in the heart of man?” he asked. “It's time to stop.”

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires named himself Francis after a 12th-Century Italian saint who turned his back on an aristocratic lifestyle to work with the poor.

He has eschewed some of the more regal trappings of high office, made headlines by washing the feet of prisoners, and called for power to be devolved away from the Vatican.

He has also adopted a markedly less formal tone than previous popes, underlining his reputation for simplicity and humility.

Earlier this year, the pontiff raised eyebrows among conservative fractions when he said the Catholic Church was too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception, and needed to become more merciful.

He is expected to announce some major reforms in Church organization for 2014.

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  • Anglotino

    I'm not catholic, thankfully I escaped being indoctrinated by my parents or state; however I do like Francis. He may lead the church in some of the reforms it needs to stay relevant to its followers.

    However I am a little chuffed that 6.9 million people attended Aussie Rule's games in 2013; so sorry, Francis, but you were pipped by a game that doesn't have 1.2 billion followers.

    Here's to 2014!

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 02:30 am 0
  • Elena

    Hi Anglotino:

    I would like to share with you a catolic belief about numbers and believers, while we catholics are very happy to know so many ppl went to see the Pope, one of the principal teachings of our belief says to us: faith isn`t about how manny we are,how manny songs we sing or how much incense we use, but of how much we love, how much we respect God`s law, how much we care for each other, because GOD is love itself and we hardly could be considered one of his if we didn`t love God, his law and our brothers.

    In this way we are never alone because God is always with us, so even if one day all Christians around the world were to die or dissapear, and only one was left, that one would be enough for the Church to keep existing and progressing because God, the Virgin and the saints would be with that Christian, and even if that Church were to appear small or insignificant, it could still grow again into a multitude, just like an small drop of water can affect an entire ocean.

    I like that mercopress takes its time to write news about our Pope anyway , but I would like for the press around the world to stop putting so much attention to numbers as they hardly are an issue to us. really, but that`s my personal oppinion.

    happy new year and happy christmas Anglotino :-)

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 09:35 am 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    2 Elena As one who,se family has suffered from Catholic oppression,I know when I read something as moving as your testimony,that you are not all evil.
    However do not the let priest Bergolio,s record or rather non record during the time of junta be forgotten,O.K. to be brave now.

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 10:43 pm 0
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