“Italian Catholics no longer know what they believe”


Southern Europe


Religiosity becomes less and less institutional, it seems. Photo EPA, Kim Ludbrook

Christians have become a minority in Italy. That is shown by a new study.

And those who still consider themselves Catholic no longer know what their faith actually entails, Actualités writes. Approximately 37 per cent of the Italian inhabitants classify themselves as non-believers, a new survey from Il Timone and Euromedia Research shows. Only 13.8 per cent of the Italians see themselves as believers, Catholics and regular mass attendees. And the latter group consists of a few older people and even fewer younger ones, a shrinking minority, Actualités writes.

And what is even more remarkable, about a third of the group of believers does not know the meaning of the Eucharist, one of the most important sacraments of the Church. Furthermore, only 33 per cent of the believers goes to confession at least once a year. Less than 60 per cent knows the meaning of confession.


Up to 20 per cent of believers define sin only as “a wrong done to others.” In practice, that means that many who see themselves as Roman Catholic have a secularised view on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

On the other hand, Italian Roman Catholics continue to pray. One in five believers indicates doing so every day. And 96 per cent does it at least “once in a while.”


According to Actualités, the survey results are similar to an earlier study from the Italian Episcopal Conference in 2021. The latter already showed a drop in weekly Mass attendance from 31.1 per cent to 22 per cent.

Religiosity becomes less and less institutional, it seems. Instead of going to Sunday Mass, people see it more as something “reflective and meditative.” According to the new study, this is problematic.

Above all, Actualités writes, church leaders should take responsibility. The website propagates that a change in course is necessary to keep people in the Church.



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