Wearing Thin: Sparse “Crowd” At February 11, 2015 Papal Audience

Rorate Caeli has shared a photograph taken at the General Audience of Pope Francis on Wednesday, showing a sparse attendance.  I have never had the pleasure to be in attendance for any papal audience but I am aware that large crowds are the norm and to attend requires a ticket.  He drew an average attendance of nearly 28,000 in 2014, which is much less than those for 2013 which were approximately 52,000 people with tickets and supposedly another 20,000 (according to this article) more in the surrounding plaza and streets without tickets.  We keep hearing and reading of his immense popularity, yet my sense is that he is losing that popularity more quickly than the Pollyanna crowd would want to acknowledge.  It seems to me that most of those making the effort to attend a general audience would be real Catholics and perhaps real Catholics have grown leery of our pope and are reluctant to attend a general audience as he becomes more clearly understood, as difficult as that is.  Of course, that is only speculation, but speculation based upon the explosion of articles and blog posts discussing the angst he is creating that I have read over the past several months, as well as conversations I have with friends who care about the Faith.  The sense has gone from he’s the pope, give him a chance, to a foreboding of something not good coming along.

Although I am not out taking polls, those people that pay attention with whom I speak are now reluctantly expressing their perplexity and concern about what our pope is saying; those who don’t pay attention still say he’s “great” but have nothing substantive to say when asked why they think he’s great.  I wonder also if my own parish priests are beginning to have their own doubts since I have noticed that the pope is not quoted in the bulletin very often anymore as compared to his first year as pope, although I have not asked them and they have not said anything.  Moreover, this past December a Franciscan priest came for a parish mission, which I attended one evening.  During his talk, he gushed about Pope Francis and then asked how many there just loved him.  Only half of the two hundred present clapped for him.  I expected much more since I keep hearing how popular he is.  The bloom is off the rose I believe.

Rorate Caeli shared the photograph of the crowd at this past Wednesday’s General Audience, which is the audience where he changed his mind about children now being a gift, at least for this week, which I wrote about here.

“Here’s a photo newspapers won’t show: An empty St. Peter’s Square for Wednesday’s General Audience”

Antonio Socci
Feb. 11, 2015
It was taken this morning [February 11, 2015] by a friend of mine during Pope Bergoglio’s general Audience. St. Peter’s Square as you can see is somewhat empty, despite it being February 11th, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes and the day for the sick, with a flux of delegates from Unitalsi [the “National Italian Union for the Transportation of the Sick to Lourdes and other International Shrines].
The phenomenon of Pope Bergoglio’s increasingly “empty” audiences, has been going on for some time now, although the media talks all the time about the (invisible)“crowds” and the Vatican establishment confirms this account. This phenomenon is parallel with the sales of Pope Bergoglio’s books, which are anything but flourishing: try and ask the publishing houses and you will be surprised…
Let’s make a few reflections on this:
1. Being acclaimed by [Repubblica editor and papal interviewer Eugenio] Scalfari and [Radical Party leader Marco] Pannella does not bring the faithful to St. Peter’s Square, and, above all, does not bring converts into the confessionals and churches.
2. If Christianity is turned into an easy product of the mass- media, sooner or later the media-bubble will burst.
3. Jesus in the Gospel had warned his Apostles: “Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6, 26) The apostles must seek the glory of Christ, not their own: “non nobis Domine…” I say this primarily for myself, but I believe it applies to everyone. Adapting Evangelical truth to what the world wants to hear and to chase one’s own popularity, not only goes against Jesus’ mandate, but in the end transforms that which should be the salt of the earth into a salt with no taste, which becomes insignificant.
4. When even the media-bubble persists, due to the favour of the secular mass-media system, bound to the powers of this world, if Jesus Christ is not proclaimed integrally in all His truth which “judges”” the darkness of the world, then, the work of God is not being done, but something else is…
5. In today’s audience, Pope Bergoglio said that he has been following the news from Lampedusa and expressed his sorrow at the recent death of some of the refugees. Of course, it is also our sorrow. However, I wonder: why doesn’t he also follow the news from North Iraq, Nigeria and other countries, where Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith every single day?
Posted in Faith, Pope Francis the Muddle-Headed?
One comment on “Wearing Thin: Sparse “Crowd” At February 11, 2015 Papal Audience
  1. Barbara Steele says:

    February is a great time to visit Rome. Why? NO CROWDS! I visited in February a few years ago…awesome. And the Vatican Museum had like 100 people inside.
    Then, I attended an April 2015 papal audience that included easily over 300K. And the Vatican Museum was bursting at the seams to the level of being unethical. So, yeah, I’m going back this February.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Recent Posts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Pesky Truth

Political News, Commentary and Humor

New York Post

Your source for breaking news, news about New York, sports, business, entertainment, opinion, real estate, culture, fashion, and more.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

The Catholic Gentleman

A blog for Catholic men that seeks to encourage virtue, the pursuit of holiness and the art of true masculinity.


Taking small steps each day to become a little healthier

C.J.'s Roku World

Roku for beginner's

Frugal Fixes

Fixes that save money and sometimes even the environment.

Tech Halfpipe

Over 20 years working with technology and that I'm also a geek at home, as a personal distraction, I thought I would share some the tech solutions and challenges that I come across, and hopefully some solutions. Also will share some of the exciting things going on with STEM and the education of our youth

Archived Innings

An exploration of the National Pastime

The Baseball Bloggess

Loves the 4-6-3 and the Serial Comma.

Race Communications Blog

Follow our blog for a more in-depth look at our fiber projects across California.

POTs and PANs

Pretty Advanced New Stuff from CCG Consulting

Nickels, Dimes and Quarters


The Minimalists Next Door

Living simply, frugally, and intentionally


Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author


Moving To A 21st Century Entertainment Paradigm

Lefthanded Conservative

I'm left-handed, although my views are on the right

Credo Sanctum

Following the Apostolic Fatih

non veni pacem

The Splendor of Truth


Surprising contributions by Francis to the Magisterium...

Maureen Mullarkey: Studio Matters

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

Real Science

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" - Richard Feynman

Our Game

Official Blog of MLB Historian John Thorn

The Hardball Times

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

FanGraphs Baseball

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

One Mad Mom

Crazy? Angry? You decide and I really don't care!


Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

Athanasius Contra Mundum

A website for Catholic Theology, Tradition, and Opposition to an insane world.

Quartermaster of the Barque

Dispensing Orthodox Catholic Joy!

LI & NY Places that are no more

A fun look back at history by Todd Berkun

Mahound's Paradise

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective


An online journal edited by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Richmond N.H.

Pauliebronx's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

The Catholic Husband

24 Years Happily Married and Counting...

The Counter Jihad Report

News ~ Resources ~ Activism

The Stumbling Block

There's nothing good or Catholic about liberalism

Seeking Justice

Latin For OUT OF GREAT SILENCE: An Orthodox Traditional Modern Catholic Layman's Perspective

My Path to Faith

"We ought to make some progress, however little, every day, and show some increase of fervor. We ought to act as if we were at war as, indeed, we are and never relax until we have won the victory." St. Teresa of Ávila

Ponder Anew

Thinking about matters in life and faith and how reason puts it all together....

Notes From The Battleground

Working Out Our Salvation With Fear and Trembling

%d bloggers like this: