Through Hugues-Olivier Dumez
Can Catholicism Survive the 21st Century? A bit provocative, the question is asked in a daily article The world published on August 29, 2021. And to recall that since the 1960s, Catholicism has declined a little more each year in Western Europe. Is this process irremediable?
A few days before the publication of the Sauvé report
A chosen one is certain, a few days before the publication of the Saved report, Catholics are preparing for a shock wave.
The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase) has worked three years to establish an inventory of attacks committed by the clergy since the 1950s. She must return the results of her investigation on October 5.
In the meantime, religious practice continues to experience a slow but inexorable erosion. Only the number of funerals remains stable.
A Toulouse, the numbers speak for themselves. And the health crisis linked to Covid-19 has only amplified the phenomenon.
According to the statistics of the diocese, on only 3419 baptisms and 737 marriages for the year 2018. Out of a population of nearly 1.40 million inhabitants.
Shortage of priests?
In Toulouse, as everywhere in France, the Catholic Church is also faced with a shortage of priests.
Of the 209 priests residing in the territory, only 136 priests are still in operation. The situation may well get worse because of the vocations crisis. Last year only two priestly ordinations were hot.
Mission A Congress
Is this the Coué method? Pushed to its limits, the Catholic Church seeks to make itself more visible. The organization of the Congress Mission on October 1, 2 and 3, 2021 in several major cities in France, including Toulouse.
Born at the initiative of the movement Anuncio, and in partnership with several Christian communities and movements, the event brings together thousands of Catholics every year.
Congress mission: a first in Toulouse
Congress mission, kesako?
Born at the initiative of the Catholic movement Anuncio, the Mission Congress is a laboratory of ideas and initiatives for evangelization.
The event will take place on October 1, 2 and 3, 2021, in different places: the Catholic Institute of France, Saint-Etienne Cathedral, Notre-Dame de la Daurade, …
A first in Toulouse
In 2021, for the first time, the Mission Congress leaves Paris and will be held in 10 cities in France: in Marseille, Lyon, Besançon, Strasbourg, Orléans, Lille, Rennes, Toulouse, Fort-de-France and La Rochelle.
Among the many speakers are expected in particular in Toulouse: Jean-Pierre Denis, Father Martin-Prével, Father James Mallon, Isabelle Pélissié du Rausas, Aymeric Pourbaix, Henrik Lindell, Father Guillaume Soury Lavergne, Nicolas de Chezelles, Isabelle Pélissié du Rausas …
The ambition of this Mission Congress? Commentary “to propose faith” in all the realities of French society: parishes, families, schools and universities, work, public space, ecology, rurality, culture, etc. Conferences and round table discussions will be organized for this purpose.
Contacted by Toulouse news, the organizers expect around 2,500 participants. While today a majority of French people do not believe in God (51%) – against 66% in 1947 – According to a recent study by Ifop, how to explain this momentum within a fringe however smaller of the population?
A “movement of decatholization”
Faced with a “movement of decatholization”, Jean-Michel Poirier, lecturer in exegesis at the Catholic Institute of Toulouse (ICT), observes an evolution in religious practice:
We have gone from a sociological Christianity – which is crumbling – to a Christianity of conviction. This adherence to religion is less and less linked to family heritage. It’s a more personal membership.
As such, Jean-Michel Poirier notes an astonishing development in society, based on the study of Ifop. “If belief in God is more important among those over 35, it is the youngest who dare to speak more about religion,” he notes.
Religion would therefore be less of a taboo subject among the younger generations. “Or it is much easier to advance on virgin ground than on minefield of one who carries a negative speech,” he believes. “There is a huge field here for what Christians call the Mission.”
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