Fewer Young Spaniards Say They Are Catholic

Under 50%, for the First Time

MADRID, Spain, APRIL 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Fewer than half of young people in Spain consider themselves Catholic, a steep drop from a decade ago, says a new study.

The Santa Maria Foundation presented the study entitled “Spanish Youth 2005” which analyzes various aspects of the younger generation.

The report found, among other things, that “10 years ago, 77% of young people considered themselves Catholic; today, for the first time in history, they do not reach 50%.”

The report’s authors attribute this phenomenon to the fact that “young people do not find attractive models of religiosity.”

Other causes mentioned by the report are “the growing secularization of society, political changes in a clearly secularist direction, and the mistrust that the Church arouses among young people.”

Young people’s greatest criticisms of the Church are “its excessive wealth, its interference in politics and its conservatism in sexual matters,” explains the report, presented Tuesday.

10% committed

Only 10% of young people say they are committed Catholics, as opposed to 20% who are characterized by religious indifference, agnosticism or atheism.

The rest, the report said, “is made up of a great mass of Spaniards who are identified, to a greater or lesser extent, with their condition of Catholics, but are characterized primarily by their passivity.”

In regard to the family, the report states that among young people there is “a pluralism in their appreciation of what today constitutes a family, though the concept of a home made up of a father, mother and children, united in marriage, continues to predominate.”

The report highlights that young people “value marriage but delay it, value having children but reduce them, and tend to be more faithful to the couple, despite the increase in separations and divorces.”

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