After the reopening of temples, 40% of the Catholics did not return to Sunday Mass.
Newsroom, (September 21, Gaudium Press) — In France, because of the pandemic, the church stopped collecting 60 million euros; these numbers represent something close to an economic catastrophe.
The situation looks even more worrisome; statistics show that since the return of face-to-face worship, a significant percentage of the faithful have not returned to mass.
According to Vincent Neymon, a spokespersons for the French Bishops’ Conference, 40 percent of those who used to attend church on weekends have stopped attending services.
“A majority among them, aged over 65, are certainly afraid of Covid 19”, the spokesman said.
Others, “a minority sector”, would be satisfied with the online celebrations, and with the retransmissions of the offices, which they got used to during the confinement.
Already at the beginning of June, Gaudium Press reported that the Church in France had stopped collecting between 40 and 50 million euros because of the pandemic
The loss of income occurred as a result of the fact that for 10 Sundays in a row the church doors were not opened to the faithful. Furthermore, no stipends had been collected for baptisms, marriages or funerals. In addition, during Holy Week, the churches did not hold any celebrations. Traditionally, a good number of people attend these ceremonies and also show their generosity.
Will the faithful ever return?
Will the missing 40% of the faithful ever return to Sunday Mass? The answer to this question worries many; this is a vital factor, as the economic recovery of the Church seems to be more worrying.
Various online tools designed to collect donations have been developed during the crisis. However, these novel strategies have not offset the losses at all.
Some bishops have stated their desire to launch fund-raising campaigns, hoping for a surge of generosity from the faithful.
The truth is that the balance sheet at the end of the year will reflect a challenging time for the various jurisdictions.
With information from Ouest France