Italy: Catholics Diminish in Number and No Longer Know Their Faith

Source: FSSPX News

Church of the Martorana in Palermo

Italy is full of splendid churches that are emptying. Christianity has become a clear minority in Italy. This is revealed by a new maxi-demographic survey carried out by the monthly il Timone in collaboration with Euromedia Research, under the direction of Dr. Alessandra Ghisleri.

Not only are there few practicing Catholics, but many of them are unaware of the most rudimentary elements of their faith.

More than a third of the Italian population – 37% – declare themselves “non-believers,” while those who declare themselves “believers” and Catholics and who attend Mass represent only 13.8% of the total population. According to the study, this is a dwindling minority, composed of a few young people and older faithful.

Among those who declare themselves as “believers” and say they go to Mass at least once a month, only 33% of the faithful confess at least once a year, while 32% do not know the meaning of the Eucharist. Which is pretty shocking.

The other data contained in the study published by Il Timone are equally discouraging for the future of the Church. In fact, fewer than 6 in 10 practitioners know what confession is, while 66% of practitioners are wrong about or unaware of the definition of the “resurrection of the flesh.” And that’s not all: since 20% think that sin is a “simple wrong done to others.”

On the other hand, on ethical issues, from abortion to gay marriage, practitioners have a de facto “secularized” vision, even if there is a clear opposition of believers to surrogacy and the legalization of drugs.

Prayer remains a widespread practice: one in five believers say they pray every day and 96% do so at least from time to time. Meanwhile, seven in ten who go to Mass believe in the existence of the devil.

These figures are similar to those of the sociological survey published in 2021 by the Italian Episcopal Conference, which also reported a decrease in weekly attendance at Mass, from 31.1% in 1995 to 22% in 2020.

Religiosity thus continues to lose the element of participation in Sunday Mass (-9% from 1995 to 2020, before the pandemic) and becomes “more thoughtful, more meditative and therefore more problematic.”

This study shows the loss of Catholic sense, the origin of which lies in the profound ignorance of the faith among the Italian population in general, and even among practicing Catholics. This ignorance has its origin, not only in the secularization of society, but also in a rupture in transmission, the origin of which is dated back to: the mid-1960s.

Even independent and often non-believer sociologists are able to say, write, and demonstrate it. It is only the men of the Church who do not see it and persist in a suicidal attitude for Catholicism, the responsibility for which they bear on their shoulders. But if they count on the world synod to restore things, they are laboring under an astounding illusion.