The figure was expected. It is nonetheless ” a shock To use the word of the Conference of Bishops. In 2020, the Church of France will suffer a shortfall of 90 million euros. This is essentially the mechanical effect of the two lockdowns on resources related to quests. This year, the amount raised for the celebrations will have dropped by 40%. It could not be otherwise for a structure which largely lives on donations made by the faithful during religious services. No ceremony, no quest. If we dare say, for the Church in particular, the ban on assembling is paid for in cash.
→ ANALYSIS. The Church in France lost nearly 40% of its resources in 2020
In this crisis, like other structures, the dioceses benefit from support from the public authorities, via the partial activity regime for their 8,000 lay employees. But the 5 million euros paid in this respect are very far from covering the losses.
By delivering this gloomy diagnosis three weeks from the end of the campaign of the denarius, the Conference of Bishops of France surely intends to provoke a start among Catholics. These have shown their ability to mobilize, for example to respond to the financial difficulties of the sanctuary of Lourdes. However, it would be misleading to consider that this is a simple economic crisis. The pandemic and containment are everywhere acting as revelations. They shed light on the weaknesses, in this case the imbalances caused by the drop in the number of faithful and the lower generosity of the youngest. Many dioceses continue to bear very heavy burdens, some are in virtual bankruptcy. All this, the Church will have to face with lucidity, through structural reforms, well beyond the financial year 2020.