Boom in Confessions is a Sign of the Francis Effect

During the course of the Permanent Council, a number of my colleagues admitted that after the Pope’s words on the sacrament of confession, numerous faithful have been coming to church to confess. It has been reborn as a wish, it was an engaging and emotional moment" linked to Pope Francis’ election.

This is very encouraging news, for sure. I believe there will be a lot of Catholics coming home as Francis touches lives by his beautiful humble example.

He has only been Pope for maybe a couple of weeks? How can we truly know that there was a “boom” in confessions due to Pope Francis? Since when did we even keep track of this?

Since the communication came from Rome and not elsewhere, it is probably a reflection on the increases experienced by the local clergy. It is unmistakeable when penitents move from a handful to a roomful. :wink: You don’t think they made it up, do you?

If this is merely Rome, then I guess I can see that; however, I always thought that Lent was always a big time for confessions (not to mention that it is the time when we are supposed to fulfill our annual obligation). Maybe part of it is directly related to Pope Francis, but I have to think that part of it is related to the time of year.

Another thought. If the locals are saying there is a boom, then they are aware that this year is producing a heavier inflow of penitents, in their experience, as compared to past years. Coming from the Vatican, I would trust their judgment is not simply propaganda.

Just one correction. This is not from the Vatican. It is from Vatican Insider which is an independent media stream. Also the statement was about conversations during a meeting of the Italian Bishops Conference. Regardless if its the time of the year, the new pontif or a combination of the two we should be happy that people are availing themselves of the sacrament.

It couldn’t have anything to do with being Lent, right? :shrug:

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My exact thoughts. Plus, RCIA and kids taking their First Communion. There were a few of those earlier this week when I went. Today, there were a lot of people whereas the number is usually smaller.

May be any number of reasons why confessions would increase both for the time of year and this year over other years. As Usige says, whatever the reason we should be happy! I also wouldnot be at all suprised if people actually are return to confession and the sacraments because we do have a new Pope. It is Lent and the news has been flooded with Catholic things since pope emeritus Benedict announced his resignation, I’m sure that has influenced some people who might have let things slip otherwise.

I think Pope Francis is full of Love,and he is like St.Francis he is a silent man, so it would not surprise me at all that alot of people will come back to the faith and confession.Love is the Key::smiley:

Wait, what did Pope Francis say about confession?

Come to think of it, I don’t recall anything about this either.

Speaking of which, I saw the cutest thing going to the back of church for confession today. :slight_smile: Msgr. was hearing a mother and her (about 8-ish year old?) daughter’s confession first. After the mom finished, and the 8 year old waiting patiently - seemed a little nervous, she gave her daughter a paper to take in the confessional. Another woman and I were in line giggling at the cuteness of the sight - obviously her first confession and a ‘cheat sheet’.

But, yeah, that was my thought too - it’s Lent and I know a lot of people go to confession as Easter gets closer. The church I go to has confession 5 hours before the Easter Vigil, and there’s people that sometimes have decades worth of confessions (I think one person spent an hour one year!).

In his homily at the parish of St. Anna last Sunday he talked about confession and forgivness.

So he spoke about this just this past Sunday and we’re already seeing a boom? And we saw it before the following Saturday (when confessions typically happen)?

Sorry, something about this report doesn’t jive for me.

Your negativity has been consistently obvious - here and elsewhere. How good of you to set all of us straight! Maybe you should write a letter of correction to those uninformed reporters who have erroneous inside information from Rome.

I’m not beingnegative. I’m being realistic. Something about this just doesn’t compute…literally.

Didn’t someone already mention that this report was not from the Vatican itself? Is it really hard to believe that reporters don’t always tell the whole story?

You seem to take any comment that doesn’t agree with yours very personally. Why is that?

This is very good news. I wonder if this is a normal phenomena that occurs following every papal election. Do we know if confessions increased immediately following the elections of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI? If there was no statistically significant increase following their rise to the papacy, this could be a singular phenomena worthy of note. It is difficult to ascertain without additional information, however. One also has to wonder about the normal Lenten effect which, historically, always produces an increase in confessions. In any event, let us hope the pattern continues for the sake of the Church.

On a side note, I want to applaud Pope Francis for being exceptionally classy in his public meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. One could not have scripted a finer display of pure class. Good for Pope Francis!

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