The number of people going for confession in St Peter’s Basilica increased noticeably within the first months of Year of Mercy. Conventual Franciscan Fr Rocco Rizzo told Vatican newspaper that he had heard about 2,000 confessions in St Peter’s Basilica. But the increase was not seen among the English speakers, who stayed away from Europe out of fear of terrorism, said the rector of the basilica’s team of confessors.
“We are noticing that the majority of penitents are Italian. I think that is due to the alarm over terrorist attacks. This is why the English-language priests have fewer confessions this year,” said Fr Rocco.
The priest told that in addition to 14 Conventual Franciscans another 13 had been assigned in St Peter’s Basilica during the Holy Year. They hear confessions everyday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm in the winter.