Spain 'will not be a Catholic country in 20 years'
5 April 2006, MADRID — For the first time ever, a majority of young Spaniards said they did not consider themselves Catholics, according to a new survey.
5 April 2006
MADRID — For the first time ever, a majority of young Spaniards said they did not consider themselves Catholics, according to a new survey.
The survey, by the Fundacion Santa Maria, said many felt a mounting distrust of the Roman Catholic Church and growing disbelief in God, the Spanish daily El Pais reported.
The authors of the survey said its results indicate that within a generation Spain will no longer be a Catholic country, as the present generation's children will not be brought up as believers.
The survey polled Spaniards aged between 15 and 24.
It found that last year only 49 percent said they were were Catholics - either practising or non-practising.
In comparison, a previous survey, in 1996, found 77 percent of respondents said they would describe themselves as Catholics.
Part of the huge drop in support for the Church was put down to its failure to adapt to modern times, said sociologists.
Juan González Anleo, one of the authors of the report, said the Church's "unpopular" stance on issues such as the legalisation of gay marriage or abortion have alienated younger people.
The survey found the Catholic Church is the least trusted of any institution, including multi-national companies and NATO.
One in eight said it was excessively wealthy.
But 43 percent said they wanted a Church wedding, compared with 22 percent who would like a civil ceremony.
Subject: Spanish news