News brief

Source: FSSPX News


France: The 2006 Guide of the Catholic Church in France has been released

Co-published by Bayard/Cerf, Fleurus-Mame, this 288-page book gives the statistics of the Church in France. The figures of religious practice in France are on the decrease: baptisms of children between 0 and 7 years old, and of children over 7 years old, first communions, confirmations, marriages…

Seminarians who were 773 in 2003 are 758 in 2004 with 121 ordinations in 2003 and 135 in 2004. The number of diocesan and religious priests is inexorably dwindling away, and deacon’s ordinations dropped from 97 in 2003 to 77 in 2004.


Poland: Church attendance on the decrease

In answer to an article published in the daily Metro, Fr. Witold Zdaniewicz, director of the Statistics Institute of the Catholic Church in Poland, declared to the press agency ENI: "It would be quite false to say that the churches are emptying". And he added: "if the figures clearly reveal a persistent decrease in the number of church-goers, however the proportion of Catholics receiving communion on Sunday is increasing. This means that the decrease in church attendance is compensated by higher rates of religious commitment".


The Netherlands: Impoverished Catholic Church

Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, Archbishop of Utrecht and president of the Dutch Bishops Conference, answered the questions put to him by the review Katholiek Niewsblad. Published on March 17, the interview let the pastor of the most important religious community of the country – 28% of the Dutch population is Catholic – express himself. "We are not declaring bankruptcy, but we must be very cautious and limit our services", explained the cardinal, adding that the Church had renounced organizing a National Catholic Day since 2004.