In Brief

Source: FSSPX News


France: Numbers of adult baptisms

 The National Service of Catechesis and the Catechumenate of the French Bishops Conference (SNCC) announced 2,708 adult baptisms this year; there were 2,650 in 2006 and 2,409 in 2005. Béatrice Blazy, assistant to the director of SNCC and responsible for adult issues, commented: “This is a small short-term increase, but not suggestive of a long-term major expansion. It is more a continuity.”

Of these baptised adults, 59% are between the ages of 25 and 40, and 71% of them are women; 1,003 live in the Paris region, 173 in the Rouen region. They are of Christian origin (49%), from Islam, (5%), Oriental religions – Buddhism, Shintoism – (4%), of mixed tradition (5%) from Judaism (1%). 21% of the converts were without religion. The average length of the catechumenate is two years.


France: The works of the Bishops’ Conference

 The Bishops’ Conference of France met at Lourdes for its 44th Pleniary Assembly between March 27 and 30. Presided over by Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, the Assembly numbered 105 bishops who worked in groups on different themes including The mission of Catholic teaching in the Church and in society; The ministry of priests and the life of Christian communities; Catholics and Muslims in France today…

 On this occasion, Mgr. Georges Pontier, vice-president of the Bishops Conference and archbishop of Marseilles, stated that dialogue with the Muslims must be considered “in a less naïve manner.” We must take into account the proliferation of TV satellite dishes “which keep the minds of these people in their country of origin, whereas their feet are planted here,” leading to a “schizophrenic” situation. However this does not prevent “gestures of neighborliness which the Muslims give proof of during our Christian feasts.” The prelate also mentioned the difficulties faced by the Muslims who convert to Catholicism: obliged to keep their conversion secret, rejected by the community…