Update on Religion in Australia

Catholic Culture reported results from the 2016 Australian census regarding religion (here). The most dramatic change is the increase in Australians saying they have no religion. Currently about 30% have no religion, up from 16% in 2001 and 1% in 1966.

Correspondingly, Christianity has declined: “since 1966, the Christian proportion of the country’s population has saffed from 88% to 52%.” (I never heard of saff, either.)

Finally, Catholic Culture bemoans the decline in Catholicism: “having stood between 26 and 28% for nearly 50 years, the Catholic proportion of the country’s population is now dropping toward 20%.”

But the surprising thing is that Catholicism has declined proportionately less than Christianity in general. This relative strength occurred despite the Church being responsible for the sexual abuse of hundreds of children, but also the ubiquitous cover-up of this crime. It’s one thing to carry a cross but quite another to calmly accept getting buggered again and again, especially from an organization that claims to have a divine mandate.