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Sun SetEven though the Armaticii family is still on vacation and I have been observing radio silence (i.e. not posting) since I have been spending time with the family, because as we all know, a man who does not spend time with his family can not be a real man, as per don Vito (see here), a development popped up that I just can’t resist commenting on.

But before I start, a gentle reminder that the Stealth Sex Synod™ of 2015 is only 38 days from today. Excuse the digression…

Now back to the matter at hand.

The reason that I am breaking radio silence is due to a post that I noticed over at Fr. Z’s blog. This post pertains to a theme that this blog has been writing about since its onset. This theme we have described as the REAL FRANCIS EFFECT and have given it a formal name: THE SOAP BUBBLE PAPACY™. The last post I wrote before vacation 2015 pertained to just this. The post was titled Francis Effect Upgraded to Francis Disaster. (see here)

And a Francis Disaster it is. Here’s how Fr. Z introduces this theme and the supporting evidence provided by Sandro Magister: (see here) [emphasis added]

Shortly after the election of Pope Francis, the Wednesday General Audience and the Sunday Angelus made the area around San Pietro a complete madhouse.  I would usually be at the Augustinianum at those times for study or for lunch with a friend and I experienced it myself.

Then, over the next couple years, I noticed that it was easier and easier to get around near San Pietro at those times.  Fewer people were coming.

For the 100th general audience of Pope Francis’ pontificate, the Prefecture of the Papal Household released the average attendance of audiences from 51,6K in 2013 to 14,8K in 2015.  HERE

Well, the Deus Ex Machina blog has noticed just this, i.e. how easy one can get around St. Peter’s Square too. And in addition, has also been writing about it from time to time.

Continuing with Fr. Z’s post, here is the source data from Sandro Magister (Translation is your humble bloggers, [comments by Fr. Z]):

On the occasion of the hundredth general audience [On the occasion of the 100th general audience] of the pontificate of Pope Francis, Wednesday, August 26, the prefecture of the pontifical household announced that at these appointments in total, 3,147,600 people took part, distributed as follows Year by year:

– 1,548,500 present at 30 hearings of 2013,
– 1,199,000 present at 43 hearings of 2014,
– 400,100 present at 27 hearings of 2015.

This means that year by year, the average present at each hearing were as follows: [the average at each audience]

51,617 people in 2013,
– 27,883 people in 2014,
14,818 people in 2015.

So each subsequent year had half the attendance of the previous year. [Each year, half the number of the year before.]

Lean attendance was not averted, as at the hundredth hearing last Wednesday, it was announced that in attendance was only “no more than ten thousand.” [At the 100th there were “more than 10K”]

The photo above was taken during the general audience on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, which was also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Day of the Sick, with the influx of delegations UNITALSI. [Photo at the audience of February 11, 2015, Day of the Sick.]

Please recall, the attendance at the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was provided by Antonio Socci and we presented his information in our post titled The Soap Bubble Papacy™. (see here)

Summa summarum, please notice how consistent the attendance figures are between that which Fr. Z posts, the figures which Sandro Magister provides, those figures that Antonio Socci provides and the numbers that are derived from our other sources.

But back to Fr. Z’s post, here is how he concludes this sad topic:

Benedict’s audiences exceeded those of John Paul II at times.

The square is emptier and emptier.

And it’s not because of the general secularization.

Romans aren’t going either, so it isn’t the economic slump.

No, it is not because of “general secularization” nor is it because of an “economic slump”.

What it is, is the REAL Francis Effect that is driving the Soap Bubble Papacy™.

And on this note, I will get back to my packing….