“We need to get people excited about our church again”

The Archdiocese of Cologne has published its statistical figures for 2018. According to the report, the number of Catholics in the archdiocese fell again. Vicar General Markus Hofmann spoke of a "great challenge for the church of tomorrow".

In 2018, 1.942.733 Catholics to the Archdiocese of Cologne. That's 29.090 people less than in 2017. The decrease results from 18.472 (2017: 13.931) resignations as well as 19.976 (19.945) burials, which exceed baptisms by 5.988 exceeded. This emerges from the ecclesiastical statistics of the Archdiocese of Cologne for the year 2018, which are now available.

Accordingly, last year the number of baptisms (13.988 / 2017: 14.051) and weddings (3.348 / 3.389) about the same level as the previous year. In 2018, 14.402 (2017: 15.101) children made their First Communion, 7.669 (8.525) young people were confirmed. On average, 152 celebrated.115 (166.037) people (about 7.8 / 8.4 percent of Catholics in the archdiocese) attended Holy Mass on Sundays with. Admissions and readmissions were 243 (286) and 472 (2017: 13), respectively. 653 (737).

Vicar General Hofmann sees great challenges

"We know that the classic form of being a church no longer fits with the reality of people's lives in many places and that we therefore no longer reach some people," says Vicar General Markus Hofmann, referring to the statistics. At the same time, he said, it is becoming increasingly important for many people to rediscover the church as a community of believers, to help others, to be there for others.

"After all, this is precisely one of the things that give our lives a deeper meaning. The goal of the 'Current Stage' of our Future Path is therefore to develop a shared vision for the Archdiocese of Cologne: We want to be what we have been from the beginning – a community of people who follow Jesus that is relevant to the whole of society."

For Hofmann, the figures confirm the great importance of the Pastoral Way of the Future proclaimed by Cardinal Woelki: "From this arise great challenges for the Church of tomorrow. We need to be more attractive to people again and inspire them about our faith and our church, a church that encourages participation and grows stronger again in the future. To achieve this, we need vibrant communities that offer people a home. With the Pastoral Way Forward, we are taking a decisive step in this direction."

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