Decline in baptisms leads Quebec church to rethink children’s spirituality

Source: Catholic News Service

By Philippe Vaillancourt

The great doorway to growing in the Christian faith is narrowing from year to year in Quebec as baptisms have significantly declined in since 2012 and there’s no indication the trend will reverse.

Confronted with a shift away from traditional practices of transmitting the faith in childhood, leaders in the Quebec church are rethinking how to approach children’s spirituality.

Data compiled by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec shows the number baptisms declined from 42,213 (of 88,933 births) in 2012 to 30,394 (of 83,900 births) in 2017. The figures represent a 28% decline in five years.

Clement Vigneault, director of the Catechesis Office of Quebec, is closely monitoring the situation. Before the question of baptizing and catechizing children is even raised, he sees a growing concern — especially among grandparents — to consider the spiritual life of children.

“There’s a trend of waiting to baptize children in order to give them the opportunity to choose later,” he said. “But how will they choose if they have never been accompanied in their spiritual life?”

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