French Catholicism is Tending to Fade More and More

July 05, 2019

“More and more French people no longer believe in God,” according to the weekly Le Point, which published on May 23, 2019 an investigation into the relationship of the French to the Faith. It appears, among other things, that in 2018 there are as many Muslims as Catholics among 18-29 year-olds.

If the Catholic religion remains that of a relative majority of French in 2018, its situation is deteriorating slowly: only 32% of French people declare themselves to be Catholic, compared to 70% in 1981. As for practicing the faith, 7% of people interviewed say they go to Mass “at least once a month”; the pollsters have given up approaching the theme of weekly Sunday practice.

Practicing Catholics account for less than 3% of 18-29 year-olds, but those who are, says the weekly, “claim a higher level of religiosity than their elders, i.e., that religious sentiment is stronger than before, in those who have faith.”

If Protestantism and Judaism are experiencing a regression similar to that of the Church, Islam and the evangelical groups are the inverse in a growth movement: nature always abhors a vacuum, and the liturgical and doctrinal “desert” of post-conciliar Catholicism has done nothing to stop this movement, far from it.

As of now “the largest religious minority,” Islam, in full expansion, is claimed by 6% of the French in 2018. Muslims, in comparison with other religious groups, attach greater importance to religion in their lives.

Further, for the year 2018 alone, there are as many Muslims as Catholics among 18-29 year-olds. Islam is well on its way to becoming the majority religion of young people present on French soil.

Faced with a conquering Islam, the other great lesson of this inquiry is the important progress of the non-religious, i.e., atheists. This group represents 58% of the French population, as opposed to 27% forty years ago. France, the eldest daughter of the Church, is now populated by apostates, atheists, and infidels.

Nihil novi sub sole. As Bishop Bernard Fellay, General Councilor of the Society of Saint Pius X, explains in his book-interview For Love of the Church published by Via Romana: “in a world without landmarks, men will invent new ones to suit their feelings...Equilibrium will be reestablished as soon as the faith regains its primordial place. In a post-modern society that has lost almost all its bearings, the priest is needed more than ever.” It is indeed around the altar that Christendom will be able to be rebuilt.