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Statistics show 4 million attended papal audiences


The Vatican's Prefecture of the Pontifical Household yesterday released attendance figures for Benedict XVI's general audiences during the first year of his pontificate.

Catholic News Agency reports that the Pontifical Household, the Vatican office responsible for papal ceremonies, also released figures for other public events presided over by the pope at the Vatican.

During his first year as pope, more than four million people attended his public events. The then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected one year ago today.

The report showed that the Wednesday general audience continued to draw important crowds to the new Pope, with more than a million people attending from April 2005 to April 2006 and an average of 24,000 each week.

The most popular event was the pope's Sunday Angelus with 1,875,000 people having attended.

Overall, for most of the major events, the peak months of attendance were October and November 2005, with an average 150,000 attending the Wednesday audience and 250,000 the Sunday Angelus during the two months.

The figures confirm the vitality of Vatican celebrations and events celebrated by the Pope, despite speculation that Benedict XVI would struggle in succeeding the charismatic Pope John Paul II.

As last week's Holy Week celebrations demonstrated, the Vatican continues to be a massive centre of attention for the world's Catholics.


SOURCE
More than 4 million attended papal audiences, celebrations during first year of Benedict's pontificate (Catholic News Agency 18/4/06)

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19 Apr 2006