Brazil: Dramatic decline of the Catholic faith in the São Paulo region

Source: FSSPX News

An evangelical ceremony in Brazil.

According to a survey conducted by the University of São Caetano and relayed by the Catholic press agency on December 11, 2016, the Catholic Church has lost “almost half of her faithful since the 1960’s” in the State of São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil.

Fifty years ago, 90.7% of the 500,000 inhabitants were Catholic, south of the city of São Paulo. In 2010, the population had increased to 2.5 million and only 56.5% were Catholic. In 2016, Catholics only represent 46.8% of the 2.7 million inhabitants.

The study shows that 8.2% of Catholics chose Evangelical groups (Methodists and Presbyterians); 27.1% joined Pentecostal churches and 9.4% chose to abandon religion altogether, whereas in 1960, atheists only made up 0.5% of the population.

Quoted by, Bishop Pedro Carlos Cipollini, bishop of the diocese of Santo André, tried to explain that “unbridled consumerism, when it is not satisfied, creates a sentiment of emptiness, a frustration”, and turns people away from the Faith. It is the same thing, he believes, with “violence and corruption in politics”, that leads people “no longer to believe in the human being and in God.”

To remedy this decline, the Brazilian prelate stated that “the Catholic Church needs to be more missionary. She needs to go out to others. She must welcome, and go where people wish to hear a word and receive attention.” And he promised to study and think “truly about how to answer these needs.” And what if he were to consider “the experiment of tradition”, to use Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s expression, that tradition that was swept aside 50 years ago, precisely when the erosion of the truths of the Faith began?

(source: – DICI no.347 Dec. 23, 2016)

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