France: Catholic renaissance?

Over 12,000 young people and adults were baptised by the Catholic Church in France on the Easter weekend - an increase of 31 percent compared to the previous year. Commentators analyse the impact of the wave of new members on the Church as an institution.

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Le Figaro (FR) /

Newcomers with high expectations

The new members are not just a blessing for the church, Le Figaro points out:

“They all speak of a thirst that the modern world does not allow them to quench. Prosperity nourishes the body, technology makes everyday life easier and entertains the mind. But what about the soul? ... These newcomers are swimming against the tide, some even face incomprehension or hostility within their families. This situation makes them demanding. The church must not disappoint their expectations. ... Their new, refreshing faith will spread through the ranks of the old institution. Their arrival is both a surprise and a challenge for French Catholicism.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

The changing face of religion

Tygodnik Powszechny takes a closer look at the changing role of Catholicism in France:

“The increasing number of adult baptisms does not compensate for the decline in infant baptisms, and overall French Catholicism statistics are in decline. However it can't be said that it is in retreat: It is ceasing to be a culturally formative religion and is becoming a religion of conscious choice. This will certainly change its face.”