"Mission" magazine: Where have the baptized (Catholics) gone?

The fourth issue of the review Mission, created last year in the dynamics of the Mission Congress, focuses on the habits and profile of baptized Catholics in France. Knowing that 80% of French people are baptized and that only 3% go to mass on Sunday, the missionary review wonders in particular where the others have gone. 

"The Kingdom is here and now", titles the fourth issue of the Mission magazine which is scheduled for release on Saturday on the occasion of the Congress Mission, which will take place in Paris from September 30 to October 2.

Mission is a 112-page "mook", a hybrid between the magazine and the traditional book, created in September 2021 in the dynamics of the Mission Congress event which for eight years has brought together thousands of Catholics around evangelization.

In the subtitle of the publication is written “Research and development”. An entry that is not insignificant because the quarterly review also intends to be a vector for transmitting data on which the missionaries can rely "to better know the field, better know the French people to whom they are eager to talk about [their] hope", as Samuel Pruvot, editor-in-chief, pointed out during the presentation of the first issue.

A survey to better understand the expectations of the baptized

It is in this context that Mission commissioned a survey from Ifop (French Institute of Public Opinion) carried out among French people baptized in the Catholic religion to try to understand them and thus better identify their expectations.

“We asked ifop to question these 80% of French people who have received baptism. Who are they ? What is their relationship to the Church? What are their modes of practice? If most remain absent subscribers from the parishes, should we throw stones at them? Isn't our mission to better understand their expectations in order to anticipate them? »

The survey of 1.020 people indicates a general trend away from religion. It nevertheless reveals that 80% of French people are baptized, a figure which may surprise as it is important, but which is inflated by the older generations. Indeed, only 59% of 18-24 year olds have passed through the waters of baptism.

Of the 80% of baptized people in France, only 3% go to mass on Sunday. On the other hand, we observe that they are much more likely to light candles in churches (57%), to pray alone, to God, the Virgin Mary or the saints (39%) or even to read the Bible or texts spiritual (24%).

Also 60% of them say they have done or have planned to have their children baptized. A percentage that rises to 86% for practicing Catholic believers, to 82% for non-practicing believing Catholics and which is still 65% for those who define themselves as non-believing Catholics.

The Ifop survey also reveals that the majority of adult baptism requests come from 25-34 year olds. They are 92% to have received baptism when they were children and indeed 8% to have requested it as an adult.

A survey that has something to think about, as the editorial director Samuel Pruvot writes in his editorial, and which will not fail to feed the discussions that will take place this weekend during the Mission Congress.

“Yes the Kingdom is very near. We have to announce it in time and out of time as the first disciples did. »

Camille Westphal Perrier

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