Brazil: proportion of Catholics in decline

Source: FSSPX News


Out of 177.8 million inhabitants, the country has 131.4 million Catholics. The number was 122 million in 1991, this increase being due to the large rise in the population as a whole. But the proportion of Catholics has fallen by 10% in 13 years: from 83.3 % in 1991, it has dropped to 73.9% in 2004. The influence of sects, but also perhaps, the misconduct of certain priests could explain this decline.

According to a survey on the profile of Brazilian priests, commissioned by the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil, from CERIS (Center of Religious Statistics and Social Research based in Rio de Janeiro), nearly 41% of the priests of Brazil have an emotional relationship with a woman, and only 49% of the 758 priests who answered the questionnaire, declared themselves in favor of priestly celibacy.

However, these figures must be mitigated by the fact that the priests who agreed to reply (less than half of the 1,834 priests who were solicited by mail) represent only 4.6% of the 16,600 priests of Brazil. However, according to Luiz Alberto Gomez de Souza, executive director of CERIS, even if the replies are less than the 11% expected, the results of this survey, carried out in 2003, nonetheless demonstrate a definite “trend”.