Some good news:
The number of people going to confession in St. Peter’s Basilica increased noticeably in the first months of Year of Mercy, but not among English-speakers, who apparently are staying away from Europe out of fear of terrorism, said the rector of the basilica’s team of confessors. Conventual Franciscan Father Rocco Rizzo, the rector, told the Vatican newspaper that from the opening of the Holy Year Dec. 8 and through February, he heard about 2,000 confessions in St. Peter’s. But, he said, “we are noticing that the majority of penitents are Italian. I think that is due to the alarm over terrorist attacks” following the series of attacks in Paris in November. “This is why the English-language priests have fewer confessions this year.” In an interview published in the March 10 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Father Rizzo said that in addition to the 14 Conventual Franciscans assigned full time to the confessionals in St. Peter’s Basilica, another 30 of their confreres are supplementing their work during the Holy Year.