There has been a massive increase in the number of Italians receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation - new research shows. A study by psycho-anthropologist Massimo Cicogna, of Rome University, revealed that 42 per cent more people have been to confession over the past six months, compared to the same period in 1999. From his survey of 2,500 people, Professor Cicogna found that about the same number of men as women were receiving the sacrament. His research showed that most were over 45 years old. A church spokesman said he thought the explanation for the huge rise was the large number of religious events that took place in Italy, and especially Rome, during the Jubilee Year. He said: "Many people were affected by the Pope's charisma and decided to make a fresh start."
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