Pope Francis is the global media phenomenon of the year. This is what comes out of the 49th CENSIS report on the Italian social situation in 2015. The chapter “Communication and Media” by the Centre for Studies and Social Investments explains the alignments of Italian people to this regard. Questioned about the strengths of Catholicism, the inhabitants of Rome have indicated Bergoglio’s charisma above everything else (with 77.9% of the answers), before even religion’s message of love and hope. Also the findings of the Pew Research Center are unambiguous: during his first year of pontificate, Pope Francis precedes the candidate for U.S. presidency, Hillary Clinton, as well as world-renowned leaders such as Putin and Merkel in the chart regarding the number of citations in U.S digital news.
Some months ago, spreading the results of the 4th number of the daily “Rome towards the Jubilee”, CENSIS found out that in the Italian capital, 62% of Catholics pray habitually, 42% often attend places of worship, 23% makes pilgrimages, 39.3% reads religious texts, and 13.1% carry out voluntary activity in the parish on a regular basis. Besides, for 80% of believers, Pope Francis represents the true strength of Catholicism. CENSIS commented on these data describing a trend of return to popular devotion thanks to the contribution of the current Pontiff. It has also stressed the fact that decades of individualism, indifference, selfishness, nihilism, and narcissism have created a vacuum of meaning that pushes now to meet in a recognized community.