.- Bishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago of Leon and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico said this week that while the number of Catholics leaving the faith is worrisome, much more so is the number of Mexicans who say they are “indifferent” about God. Bishop Martin’s comments came in response to a study carried out by the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Computer Science which concluded that 3.5% of the population in the year 2000 said they were not religious, up from 1.6% in 1970, and the number of non-Catholics has increased threefold—from 3.8% in 1970 to 12% in 2000.
Bishop Martin said he was concerned not only about Catholics who join sects but also about the growing number “of those who say they are simply indifferent; that is, those who live as if God was not important in their lives and deep down are saying, ‘God? For what? God is a useless hypothesis’.”
He noted that it is “common that Catholics join a sect, and then become disillusioned and end up believing in nothing. They remain in a state of skepticism and general disillusionment, which is of great concern to the Church.”
Religious indifference is becoming commonplace in other parts of Latin America as well, he added, citing the cases of Brazil and Colombia, where there have been significant drops in the number of practicing Catholics.