Catholicism is in rapid decline. Atheists and the non-religious now number 31%. Only 48% saw themselves as Catholic in 2010. Nominalism is pervasive; nationally, only 7% attend mass, and as low as 1% in some parts of Flanders and less than 0.5% in some Walloon cities. The Church faces five major crises – declining commitment, waning influence, a severe lack of students in seminaries, mass defections and, most of all, the pedophilia scandals that have destroyed Catholicism’s reputation. The number of priests today is less than half that of 1960; their average age is over 65. The charismatic movement brought some new life but remains quite small. Pray for revival in this materially prosperous but spiritually poor land.
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