What the pope will find in Rio in '13: fewer Catholics

The numbers are dwindling, according to this report:

Catholic numbers in Brazil strongly declined among all classes in recent years, according to a study released as Rio de Janeiro is slated to host the Catholic World Youth Day in July 2013.

Published Wednesday in local media, the results of the “New Map of Religions,” a census conducted by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (GVF), showed that from 2003 to 2009, the proportion of Brazilians who identify as Catholic dropped from 74 to 68 percent.

“That is a strong transformation rate. Changes that take place in 100 years are now taking place within ten. If this drop of one in 100 Catholics each year continues, in 20 years, less than half of the population will be Catholic,” said Marcelo Neri, the head of GVF.

The strongest drop (9 percent) was among youth from 10 to 19 years old — the target audience for World Youth Day — stressed Neri.

World Youth Day (WYD) is a youth-oriented international event for Catholics attended by the Pope. After being held in Madrid this year, the next WYD is scheduled for July 23 through July 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio is Brazil’s second least-Catholic region, with 49 percent claiming the religion. The only region behind Rio is northern Roraima State at 46 percent.

Brazil remains the most Catholic country in the world, with 130 million adherents, but this is the first time in 140 years that less than 70 percent of the population is Catholic.

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12 responses to “What the pope will find in Rio in '13: fewer Catholics”

  1. What is the deal with Rio anyway? From 2013 to 2016 they will host the FIFA World Cup, the Summer Olympics and now World Youth Day?

  2. Numbers shouldn’t matter. For years now, Rome has been driving home the point that Catholicism is a very distinct set of beliefs and practices, not some vague cultural identity that means anything one wants. This is the flip side of that. People are being honest enough with themselves and others to not identify as Catholic if their only reasons for doing so are cultural inertia.

  3. Although a number of Brazilians are evangelicals, seventh day adventists, and others, there is still a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother under the title of our Lady of Aparecida in this country. The statue in Rio of Jesus the Redeemer helps maintain the christian nation. The rise of the Heralds of the Gospel (Os Arautos do Evangelho) are inspiring in their multiple works of mercy, and devotion to our Blessed Mother. At our local Catholic church in Philadelphia we have many devotions, including Adoration, praying 1,000 Hail Marys on certain Saturdays, a prayerful Youth Group, and a growing devotion to Divine Mercy. Having WYD in Rio is a good move and the Brazilians will rise to the occasion to show the true devotion to the Catholic Church.

  4. Hey Joe , say it isn’t so !!! strong devotion to the blessed mother. / 1,ooo hail mary’s !! a statue makes it a christian nation ? seems to me the true devotion is to mary not to JESUS !!

  5. The question is, where did the ones who dropped out go? Protestant groups, some type of syncretism, or no belief? 68% is still a very significant number; the Church needs to find out how to keep them. Does the ratio of priests to parishioners have anything to do with it; maybe having more deacons would help.
    Jim, it’s okay to be devoted to Mary; she’ll always point you to Jesus.

  6. How about the report that there are about 18 times the number of married evangelical ministers to the number of celibate Catholic priests in Brazil. Cardinal Hummes thought that the church should look into a married clergy. On debarking from the plane in Rome he had changed his mind about that. Cell phones are everywhere now.
    Recall the that the Civil War general said ‘the battle goes to the firstest with the mostest’.

  7. The Pope needs to go to Rio confident in the actual teaching of the Church Christ created and promised to be with until the end of time which I am very certain he will do with great success. Preaching the truth of the Catholic Church with confidence that everything she teaches on faith and morals led by our Pope is protected with infallibility gives great strength to giving up our pride and following Church teaching. And yes, having a strong focus on Jesus mother makes all the sense in the world. As Melody stated, she will always point us to her Son and her Son loves it when we honor his mother.

    Yes friscoeddie, the world believes that the race goes to the firstest with the mostest, but Jesus taught us that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. We should never forget that if we care about heaven…

  8. if i’m not mistaken , scriptures point out that MARY / aka
    ” queen of heaven ” was a sinnner and in need of a savior also. i don’t need MARY to point me to JESUS ! ” her son loves it when we honor his mother ??? i think it is the other way around !!

  9. Jim, do some reading on what the Catholic Church teaches on Mary. She was “full of grace” therefore not a sinner as we are.

    As far as Rio, if you ever see the way people act at the annual Carnevale down there I always wondered how Catholic a place it really was.

  10. romcath, i respectfully disagree. your misunderstanding of the meaning of ” full of grace ” and the rcc’s teaching of this has spawned an incredibly blasphemous system.
    ” Maryolatry ” is based on this whole thing. mary does not have grace to dispense. mary is not the source of grace. mary was the recipient of grace !!!! in addition , mary can’t hear prayers of anybody. neither can any other glorified saint. only GOD hears prayers !mary received divine grace because mary was unworthy and not sinless !
    ” and my spirit rejoices in GOD my SAVIOR ! ” Luke 1 :47
    if we weren’t sinners we wouldn’t need grace.

  11. Jim,
    Please open your mind up and stop the fundamentalist “talking points”. Do you think God would allow His Son to become incarnate in one who had been touched by sin? That doesn’t even make sense.
    Catholics are not worshippers of Mary. They honor her in a spcial way as she broguht Christ into the world in a way no one else had or ever will.
    Finally please stop trying to convince Catholics they are wrong about everything. It is getting tiresome and a bit ridiculous.

  12. Jim, you are just flat out wrong on the entire issue of the mother of God. rom cath does a nice job of laying this out if your mind is open to the truth at all. by the way, martin luther was solid on Mary teaching even in his dissent.

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