Sunday, January 09, 2005

Losing the Faith in France

LGF has a link to an interesting article, reporting on the decline of religion in France.

For decades, the Church in France has been living on borrowed time, relying on a body of priests whose average age has steadily increased. That time has suddenly run out. Recent research suggests that French priests have become so old that half of them will die in the next eight years.

At Puy L'Eveque, Michel Cambon is Fr Bouzou's nearest fellow priest. He is the only one who seems really angry about the crisis. As we walk among the dilapidated tombs in the churchyard with their fallen crosses and mournful statuary, the church bells clang balefully. Fr Cambon - who has more than 30 churches to look after - says his elderly congregation is dying out so rapidly that in 10 years there may be no church in Puy L'Eveque at all.

"People kept saying it would be all right," says Fr Cambon, "but they're about to be proved wrong. My fear is that the Roman Catholic Church will disappear altogether in France. That's the path we're on."


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