the variety of baptisms explodes in 2024 amongst adults and adolescents | EUROtoday

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LThe Catholic Church is recording a leap in baptisms amongst adults and younger individuals. According to a survey by the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) revealed this Wednesday, March 27, and relayed by Agence France-Presse, the celebration of Easter this yr will mark the baptism of seven,135 adults (a rise of 31%) and of 5,025 adolescents (a rise estimated at 50%).

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The variety of adults who will likely be baptized throughout Easter celebrations elevated by 31% in comparison with final yr with 7,135 “catechumens” (or candidates for baptism), in accordance with this survey.

“We really confirm last year's increase which was 28%,” defined Catherine Chevalier, director of the National Service for Catechesis and Catechumenate of the CEF, at a press convention, dismissing the thought of a “rebound effect” after the Covid-19 epidemic: “This is not a matter of catching up, but of an underlying trend. »

The figures certainly remain modest, like a Church which only baptizes 65,000 babies per year (and 220,000 people in total on average), according to figures from 2022.

18-25 year olds represent 36% of newly baptized people

A quarter of new arrivals are students, seven out of ten live in urban areas. Women represent 62% of the total. If all age groups are progressing, the increase is especially marked among 18-25 year olds who now represent 36% of newly baptized people.

Among adolescents between 11 and 17 years old, the less exhaustive survey recorded 5,025 baptisms in 68 dioceses, an increase “of 50% on average”, which illustrates, according to the Church, a “true spiritual thirst among young people “.

“Young people approach the question of faith in a more uninhibited way than previous generations,” in accordance with Catherine Chevalier, who evokes “a need for fraternity, to build relationships.”

The problem of supporting neophytes

Welcoming this “vitality”, already illustrated by the presence of 45,000 younger French individuals on the final World Youth Days (WYD) in Lisbon, the CEF highlights the problem of assist represented by these new “called” in a society “where 80% of young people have not received religious education”.

The president of the CEF Éric de Moulins-Beaufort – who underlines that in his diocese of Reims the catechumens have elevated from 20 to 73 in 5 years – additionally wonders in Christian household : “Are our teams adapted to support so many people? If we look lucidly at our current system, at least in the province of Reims, the answer is no. We will have to adjust our practices. »

As for the origin of the newcomers, the CEF observes among adults a “significant” enhance in baptized individuals from households “without religion”, or 1 / 4 of the whole. For comparability, the Catholic Church baptizes 65,000 infants every year (earlier than one yr) and a complete of 220,000 individuals.

READ ALSO Vatican says transgender individuals can obtain baptism The CEF additionally experiences a rise in baptisms in rural areas (29% of the whole). But for the Church, the issue is to maintain these newcomers, a lot of whom concern discovering themselves left to their very own gadgets after two years of intense preparation.

The CEF doesn’t know what number of neophytes are nonetheless current one yr after their baptism, however acknowledges “a real issue of support in the first years of Christian life”.

Catherine Chevalier evokes varied initiatives taken within the dioceses: fraternities, sharing teams… even in a parish “convivial moments” with “aperitifs once a month”.