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FOR THE RECORD: The Real Francis Effect

St. Peter'sA staggering 9,000 faithful show up for Ash Wednesday this year.

A measly 50,000 Faithful showed up for B XVI last Ash Wednesday.

But hey, the 9,000 were the right kind of faithful.

EX MAGNA SILENTIUM or EX MAGNO SILENTIO

Pope Francis had a small crowd gathered around him today at the midday Angelus on this Ash Wednesday 2015, with a reported “more than 9,000” there to hear his words to the Faithful.  Two years ago, at least 50,000 were present for Pope Benedict XVI’s final Angelus on Ash Wednesday.  I was unable to find a printed number of attendees for last year’s Angelus on March 5, 2014.  However, I did find this video of the event.  At 1:46 into the video, there are clearly many more than 9,000 attending and it looks like at least 30,000 and probably much more than that.  Compare what you see further at 21:46 to this look at today’s gathering at 28:03.

So where are the Faithful this year?  The weather looked to be pleasant so it can’t be that. Recall that one year ago, we read and heard how vastly popular he…

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